GP denies sexually assaulting stomach-cramp patient
Woman claims Dr Michael Obrowski examined her internally for no reason
Dr Michael Obrowski told Cork Circuit Criminal Court his surgery was being painted on the day of the alleged assault
A GP examined a young woman’s vagina and asked her about the size of her breasts and shaving her pubic hair after she went to his surgery with stomach cramps and diarrhoea, it was claimed on Tuesday.
The woman made the allegations against Dr Michael Obrowski during her evidence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. Dr Obrowski (59) denies a single charge of sexually assaulting the woman at his surgery in Midleton, Co Cork, on March 29th, 2012.
The woman initially told Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin she did not want to proceed with her complaint, as she had moved on with her life, but when he asked if she was refusing to give evidence she said she was not. She then testified.
“He said he would examine me for breast size. He also did a vaginal examination and a rectal examination. He said, ‘Have you shaved for me?’ And I said no. He told me to lie down on the floor. He did a vaginal examination and a rectal examination with no reason,” she said.
The woman said she had consulted Dr Obrowski before, in late 2011, at his previous clinic, in Cork city. The GP asked her to lie on a sheet on the floor because he had no surgical bed in his new clinic. “He examined me like a gynaecologist. He put his finger inside my vagina, and then he put his finger inside my rectum,” she said, adding that he wore gloves during the examinations.
When the GP’s barrister, Donal O’Sullivan, asked why she did not mention the rectal examination in her first Garda statement, the woman said she was ashamed to mention it when she was interviewed by a male garda but mentioned it in a second statement.
Mr O’Sullivan said Dr Obrowski would say he never treated the woman until mid-April 2012 and could not have treated her on March 29th, as the clinic was being painted that day. The woman said there was no smell of paint and the assault did happen that day.
Dr Obrowski told the jury of eight men and four women the events the woman described never happened and he never remembered treating her. He also said he would not have examined anyone vaginally or rectally if they were suffering from stomach pains and diarrhoea.
He began leasing his new clinic on March 19th, 2012, and had needed to clean and refurbish it before it could open. He produced a computer calendar that marked the clinic as being painted on March 28th, 29th and 30th, for a grand opening on April 1st.
He said he had always had an examination table in his surgery, as back injuries from car crashes in 1982 and 1987 stopped him from bending down to examine patients. He would have been unable to examine anyone lying on the floor, he said.
A painter, Adam Paulik, confirmed that he worked at the premises at the end of March 2012 but could not say if he was there on March 29th. He saw a medical bed when he was painting the rooms but no patients. The case continues on Wednesday.