Charlotte abortion doctor faces rape charge

05/09/2014 2:05 PM

05/09/2014 2:55 PM

A Charlotte doctor who was at the center of controversy in 2012 over comments he made to abortion protesters about African-American babies has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman, police say.

Dr. Ashutosh “Ron” Virmani, 59, was arrested Thursday after a woman complained that she had been sexually assaulted. Virmani is charged with second-degree rape and two counts of second-degree sexual offense.

Police said officers were called Wednesday night to Carolinas Medical Center after a 49-year-old woman reported a sexual assault. The victim said the assault took place at Virmani’s residence in southeast Charlotte.

The woman told officers that he prevented her from leaving his home during the assault.

Virmani, who works at A Preferred Woman’s Health Center, made headlines in August 2012 after release of a video of a discussion he had with members of Operation Save America, an anti-abortion group. According to its website, A Preferred Woman’s Health Center is “committed to offering women and their families confidential abortion care.”

Members of Operation Save America said they went to Virmani’s residence on July 26, 2012. During the video, Virmani told the group, “Let me see you adopt one of those ugly black babies. Go ahead. Adopt these babies, OK? Take them off the taxpayers’ money.”

Virmani has conducted a long campaign – fueled by letters and emails – against Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte. In 1995, a hospital peer review committee suspended Virmani’s hospital privileges after he made a surgical mistake.

Virmani said he was punished more severely than other doctors because of his Asian-Indian background.

Staff writer Karen Garloch contributed.

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