Valley abortion doctor Brian Finkel was sentenced today to 34 3/4 years for the sexual abuse of 13 women.
Finkel, 54, was sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court after jurors found him guilty on 22 counts of sexual abuse.
He was acquitted on 34 other sexual offenses and jurors were unable to reach verdicts on four other counts. The jury found Finkel either fondled the breasts or rubbed the genitals of 13 women who went to him as far back as 1986 for abortions or gynecological examinations.
Before grand jury indictments in October 2001 and January 2002 effectively ended his practice, Finkel was an outspoken abortion provider who railed against the anti-abortion movement and even other abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood, which he called “feminine separatists.”
He performed abortions with a handgun in a shoulder holster, which he carried after being assaulted by anti-abortion protesters, and his Phoenix clinic was a fortress of magnetically locked doors and bulletproof glass that was situated to be difficult for protesters to get near.
The beginning of the end of Finkel's 30-year practice came in March 2000 when a 39-year-old Scottsdale woman who visited him for an abortion, reported to police that Finkel groped her breasts as she was waking from anesthesia, according to court testimony and records.
The case eventually fell into the hands of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, which found other police reports with similar claims by patients.
Media attention on the investigation brought out other women, and eventually two grand juries returned indictments totaling 67 counts and 35 accusers. Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley said there were 70 other women who made allegations but weren't part of the prosecution.