A San Diego physician was arrested Friday, accused of sexual battery and child porn in connection with nude images of his patients allegedly found on his phone.
Dr. Jeffrey Abrams, 67, was arrested Friday on 24 felony counts, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.
Charges include 15 felony counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious victim and eight counts of sexual battery, according to prosecutors.
Abrams is also accused of one count of possession of child pornography. He was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on Friday and is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
Abrams had his license suspended by the State Medical Board after a state investigator reported finding hundreds of explicit photos of his patients on a phone.
Attorney Jessica Pride said five of her clients, all of whom plan to file a lawsuit against Abrams, feel safer and relieved now that he is behind bars.
Pride's client, referred to only as Jane Doe 1, was the first to bring the allegation against Abrams.
"Jane Doe 1 was afraid he was going to find out who she was and go to her house or potentially harm her," said Pride.
Jane Doe 1 says Abrams took nude photos of her during an exam on Jan. 4 at the Volunteers in Medicine free clinic in El Cajon.
The uninsured woman said she was examined for a complaint of belly button pain.
She claims Abrams told her take off all her clothes then inserted his gloved finger into her vagina and asked "You have pain?"
Then, she claims he had her stand in front of him, pushed her hair away from her exposed breasts, pulled out a cellphone and took five pictures of her.
A state investigator said more than 1,300 explicit photos were on the doctor's work cellphone, a search warrant affidavit shows.
Many of the explicit photos showed women’s vaginas, breasts and buttocks, documents alleged.
There was one explicit photo of a very young girl and video of a patient touching herself in the exam room with Abrams, the documents allege.
Volunteers in Medicine issued a statement calling the allegations "very troubling" and said the allegations are not a reflection on the staff at the health care center, the only free medical clinic in the East County.
Pride said her clients "feel violated, they feel confused, traumatized ... distrust in doctors."
Doctors who spoke with NBC 7 say although Abrams was an example of a bad apple, there are steps patients can take if they feel uncomfortable at a doctor's appointment:
- Ask for a chaperone, for instance, a female nurse.
- Ask for a female doctor
- Never be afraid to ask questions
- Remember, you can always say "No"