A former suburban Chicago gynecologist has been charged with criminal sexual assault months after multiple patients sued him and NorthShore University HealthSystem alleging they weren't told the doctor was under investigation for sexual assault.
Dr. Fabio Ortega faces one charge of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 Felony, related to an alleged incident on March 24, 2016, at his Lincolnwood office at the NorthShore Medical Center, police said. Ortega posted a $50,000 D bond on Friday and was released.
Ortega was charged last year with one count of criminal sexual assault involving a woman and pleaded not guilty to the charge last September.
As many as five unidentified women accused Ortega of sexual assault, alleging he asked female patients questions about their sexual fantasies and intimate details about their sex lives, performed unnecessary breast, genital and rectal examinations, inserted his fingers into patients’ vaginas to show them "how to locate their 'g-spot, which is not a medical need or purpose,'" and performing ungloved exams of breasts and genitalia, among other things.
"It affected my marriage. I was showering uncontrollably because I felt disgusting," one woman, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, told NBC 5.
According to the lawsuit filed in June, the hospital allowed Ortego to continue working during a criminal investigation into sexual assault claims.
NorthShore University HealthSystem said in a statement over the summer that the "physician in question is no longer employed" by the company.
"We take these accusations very seriously," the hospital said in a statement at the time. "Since this remains an active legal matter, we are unable to comment further. We find any professional misconduct of this nature to be deeply disturbing and not reflective of the high standards of care we stand for and that our patients expect from us."
One of the women in the lawsuit stated that she was sexually abused one day after Ortega was questioned by Skokie police during their investigation.
"This lawsuit is about accountability," Attorney Tamara Holder said. "Northshore knew that Dr. Fabio Ortega was a sexual predator. They had complaints in 2012 and 2013 and those were formal complaints that they knew about."
The lawsuit stated that Ortega was allowed to "quietly retire" following the initial claims. As of June, his medical license was listed as "suspended," according to the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation.
A lawyer for Ortega did not immediately respond to a request for comment.