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L.A. dentist accused of sexually abusing patients, targeting immigrants and low-income women

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A Los Angeles dentist was charged Monday with sexually abusing nine female patients and accused of preying on women from immigrant and low-income communities.

Emad Fathy Moawad, 50, is accused of targeting the female patients who came to his office on Beverly Boulevard and Normandie Avenue between 2013 and 2018, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney. His victims during the five-year span ranged in age from 27 to 73.

Moawad is charged with nine counts of sexual battery by restraint, three counts of sexual penetration by use of force and a single count of attempted sexual penetration by use of force.

“This case is especially concerning because its victims are low-income people and immigrants who are less likely to report crimes due to fear,” Dist. Atty. George Gascón said in a statement announcing the charges. “We are asking other possible victims to come forward and help us keep our community safe.”

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Moawad appeared in court on Monday, but his arraignment was continued to Wednesday.

The charges follow a lengthy investigation by LAPD sex crimes detectives with the department’s West Bureau. Moawad did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

In 2019, a female patient sued Moawad in L.A. County Superior Count for sexual battery, sexual harassment and sexual violence. The suit says that he operated a practice with his wife, Katerina Moawad, another dentist. The woman, whom The Times is not identifying as a victim of an alleged sexual assault, reported her allegations to Los Angeles police.

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The lawsuit alleges that in 2017, while the female patient was under anesthesia, Moawad repeatedly “sexually battered, molested and assaulted her.” The suit alleges the staff heard her yell at him and accuse him of sexual assault.

According to the suit, the incidents allegedly began with his brushing against her breast during a visit on Oct. 5, 2017. The patient returned for a deep cleaning under anesthesia on Oct. 30, and the suit alleges that Moawad put his hand up her shirt and repeatedly touched her breasts.

The woman responded by yelling, and she told his dental assistant and secretary moments later about the alleged assault. “We know, but can’t do anything about it,” the secretary replied, according to the suit.

The woman returned to the dentist in August 2018 because of a problem with her veneers. She alleges that while under local anesthesia, Moawad put his hands inside her panties and rubbed her vagina. She resisted, and he held her down until she managed to run from the room, covered in blood, the lawsuit alleges. In December 2018, a dental assistant shot a video of one such assault to bring an end to his alleged attacks, according to the suit.

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