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Lawsuit accuses former University of Utah Hospital doctor of sexually assaulting 13-year-old patient six years ago

She was terrified as her doctor, a pediatrician at a University Hospital medical center, masturbated while he sexually assaulted her.

A week later, the 13-year-old girl tried to end her life rather than see him again.

Now 19 years old, the woman has filed a lawsuit in 3rd District Court against University Hospital, the University of Utah’s Madsen Health Center and the doctor.

In 2011, the 13-year-old girl had been taken to the medical center for an examination, according to the lawsuit.

The doctor had told her parents that a female assistant would be present for the full-body exam, but he was alone with the teenager.

During the exam, he groped her and touched her inappropriately before masturbating while sexually assaulting her, “causing her extreme pain,” the lawsuit states.

She wanted to leave but was afraid to try to.

“[She] was terrified of [the] Defendant,” the lawsuit continues.

He had also stayed in the room when the teenager undressed and put on a gown, the lawsuit states.

She’d tell her parents, she told him.

He told her no one would believe her. And that if she told anyone, he’d have her committed to a residential treatment center, according to the lawsuit.

Afraid of how her doctor would retaliate, she didn’t tell anyone what happened.

Just over a week later, her parents told her she had another appointment with the same doctor.

So she tried to end her life in a school bathroom, using a pair of sewing scissors, her lawsuit states. She was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital.

She survived the suicide attempt but continued to suffer “from severe mental and emotional damage,” her attorney wrote in the lawsuit.

The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name victims of sexual assault.

The doctor, who also worked as a professor and a research associate at the U., parted ways with the university in April 2016, confirmed spokeswoman Suzanne Winchester. He had started at the university in February 2011. Winchester said she didn’t know why he left.

Winchester said she was unable to confirm specific department titles.

Within the past year, the woman told her parents about the assault and got into therapy, her attorney, G. Eric Nielson, confirmed. She also reported the assault to the police and to the hospital, he said.

A Salt Lake City Police Department spokesman said Tuesday he was aware of the report but could not confirm if an investigation was underway.

University of Utah police said they had not received any reports about the doctor.

According to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, his medical license is active and he has not incurred any disciplinary actions.

“[The] doctor disputes each and every accusation in the complaint,” said his attorney, Mary Corporon, who declined to comment further.

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