A 51-year-old dentist has reached a settlement with a former patient who alleged he sexually battered her during office visits in 2017 and 2018.
One of the plaintiff’s attorneys, Katherine M. Shrager, told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kristin S. Escalante during a status conference on Wednesday that the woman’s case against Emad Fathy Moawad was resolved. No terms were divulged.
Moawad is charged in a separate criminal case with sexually abusing nine patients and will be in court June 23 for the setting of a preliminary hearing date. He has pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen criminal counts.
The lawsuit, filed in February 2019, does not state whether the plaintiff is one of the victims in the criminal case, and another one of her attorneys, Kenneth Ruttenberg, said Thursday he cannot confirm or deny her status in that regard. In their court papers, lawyers for Moawad denied any wrongdoing on his part in the civil case.
Moawad has dual citizenship in Egypt, and the U.S. prosecutors allege the assaults occurred between 2013 and 2018 at the dentist’s office on Beverly Boulevard. The victims ranged in age from 27 to 73 years old.
When the charges were first announced, Los Angeles County District Attorney George GascÃ³n alleged that Moawad targeted patients unlikely to report his crimes and urged any other victims to come forward.
In her lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged she was initially abused by Moawad at the Alegria Dental Center in October 2017. She alleged Moawad was giving her a cleaning while she was under an anesthetic when he repeatedly put his hand down her shirt and touched her breasts.
“When plaintiff told the secretary about Moawad’s conduct, she turned pale and said, `We know, but can’t do anything about it,”’ the suit stated.
During another procedure in August 2018, the dentist again inappropriately touched the plaintiff, her suit alleged.
“At first, plaintiff thought she was imagining things,” the suit stated. “She tried to get up and run away, but Moawad held her down.”
The plaintiff left the procedure room “dazed, with blood on her face and clothing, and asked for help,” the suit states.
The nurse at the desk told the plaintiff to be quiet so that other patients would not hear her complaining, according to the suit.