Doctor’s conduct questioned in Gilroy patient sex abuse trial

A patient of Dr. Raul Ixtlahuac testified Tuesday that she found
a used condom in an office trash can after the Gilroy doctor
allegedly perfomed unconsented sexual intercourse on her during a
pelvic exam.
SAN JOSE – A patient of Dr. Raul Ixtlahuac testified Tuesday that she found a used condom in an office trash can after the Gilroy doctor allegedly perfomed unconsented sexual intercourse on her during a pelvic exam.

“I felt him penetrate me with his penis,” the emotional 26-year-old woman told the jury Tuesday. “I was in shock. I knew the examination was wrong.”

The victim, who only gave the name Michela, was the first of six women with similar accusations expected to testify against Dr. Raul Ixtlahuac (IXHT-la-wahk). Ixtlahuac was practicing as a family physician at Gilroy’s Kaiser Permanente at 7520 Arroyo Circle during the time of the alleged incidents.

If convicted, Ixtlahuac, 41, could face up to 14 years in jail for four counts of alleged felony penetration with a foreign object and two counts of alleged felony sexual battery.

Ixtlahuac has pled not guilty to all charges. His defense lawyer Doron Weinberg has said many of the alleged victims were not familiar with often-strenuous exam procedures, and that Ixtlahuac had performed thousands of pelvic examinations on hundreds of women during his 12 years at Kaiser before receiving any complaints.

“He’s been put in a bad situation,” Weinberg said.

During Tuesday’s often-emotional testimonly, Michela described a September 2000 examination by Ixtlahuac.

While at first everything was routine, Michela said Ixtlahuac soon became nervous, started sweating and began repeating questions he had already asked her.

She was lying on her back and separated from the doctor by a drape over her abdomen to her knees; there was no nurse present in the room.

“I saw his arm jerking back and forth,” she said. “Then it felt like he penetrated me.”

Following the examination, Michela said she saw the doctor walk over to the trash can and throw something away. After Ixtlahuac left the room, she said she opened the trash can and saw a condom.

Weinberg said the condom was used by Ixtlahuac earlier in the day when he was demonstrating safe-sex techniques to a young couple.

Michela then went the hallway and got the attention of Ixtlahuac’s medical assistant, Diane Martinez, who also testified Tuesday to seeing the condom in the trash can.

“Are you sure it was a condom and not a medical glove?” Weinberg asked Martinez.

“Yes,” she said.

“How sure?” Weinberg asked.

“100 percent,” Martinez said.

Martinez went to look for the resident nurse and Ixtlahuac returned to the exam room, at which time Michela briefly questioned Ixtlahuac’s techniques, Michela said.

Ixtlahuac then escorted Michela out of the room, and Martinez testified to seeing the doctor return to the room shortly after and open the trash can.

“I saw him bending over by the trash,” Martinez told the jury of five women and seven men. “And when (the resident nurse) and I went in the room five minutes later, the condom was gone.”

Martinez eventually found Michela and took her to a Kaiser administrative official in the building who called the Gilroy Police Department.

During a subsequent search of the office, police were unable to find a condom, although they had received a call from a woman complaining about sexual abuse from the same doctor the day before, Deputy District Attorney Charles Gillingham said.

During the coming weeks of the trial, three other alleged victims will testify that Ixtlahuac penetrated them during examinations, while two women will allege that he used his fingers to stimulate their vaginas while their legs were in stirrups, Gillingham said.

But Weinberg said the emotions of the six alleged victims have clouded their stories. He highlighted the fact that at least one of the victims returned to be examined by Ixtlahuac again after her alleged assault.

“It took a lot of these women a long time to decide what happened to them,” Weinberg said.

Ixtlahuac was arrested in May 2001 for the alleged assaults that the victims claim took place between September 2000 and May 2001. He has since been free on a $250,000 bond and placed on unpaid administrative leave from Kaiser.

His medical license also has been suspended pending the outcome of the trial.

Tuesday, Ixtlahuac arrived at the Hall of Justice in San Jose with his wife, and he was dressed in a dark suit and tie. Ixtlahuac’s wife sat behind him during the trial and they conversed during recesses.

Several family members of the alleged victims, who were all between the ages of 25 and 40 at the time of the alleged assaults, also attended the opening day of the trial.

Each defendant in the case has filed a civil lawsuit against Ixtlahuac and several have done the same against Kaiser. Civil matters will be taken up when the criminal case concludes.

The doctor lives in Salinas and received his medical degree from the University of Washington while doing his residency at Stanford University. He is a native of Southern California.

Leave your comments