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Czech gynecologist to pay compensation to Romani patient whom he raped

Most, 10.2.2012 20:10, (ROMEA)

A young woman from the Czech town of Most who was sexually assaulted by her gynecologist three years ago has been awarded damages in the amount of CZK 100 000 by the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem. The Czech Press Agency reports that the woman is of Romani origin.

The League of Human Rights reports that the physician, Miroslav Grund, had previously been convicted of the felony charge of rape. The patient then filed a civil suit for violation of her personality rights in order to be compensated.

The woman sought compensation not just for the rape, but also for the fact that Grund described her during the criminal trial as an allegedly high-risk, promiscuous patient suffering from sexually transmitted diseases. The doctor also communicated information about the patient to his own daughter, a journalist, who then publicized it.

The doctor denied ever having sexually assaulted the woman. However, law enforcement authorities discovered a great deal of indirect evidence against him which resulted in his conviction.

"This case should prompt the victims of similar crimes not to be afraid and to immediately report this kind of illegal behavior to police even if they are not able to provide direct evidence of an incident," said Zuzana Candigliota, the lawyer with the League of Human Rights who represented the woman during the criminal trial.

In such cases, an expert affidavit as to the victim's credibility or immediate interrogation of the suspect can serve as evidence. Perpetrators often make statements which are later revealed to have been untrue.

In its verdict, the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem convicted the doctor of committing a grave violation of the young woman's personality rights. "This case concerns the crime of rape, which like every such crime in and of itself represents a significant violation of personality rights. In this case the plaintiff's rights to health, to privacy, to personal honor and to human dignity were violated," the League of Human Rights stated in its declaration.

The District Court in Most originally classified the act concerned as a rights violation in May 2010, banning the doctor from practice for 18 months and ordering him to pay a fine of CZK 50 000. According to the judge at the appeals court in Ústí nad Labem, which next heard the civil case, Dr Grund had vaginally raped the patient, inserting his penis into her at least once. The woman then fled. When reading the verdict, the chair of the judge's senate said the doctor had exploited the woman's defenselessness, because she could not have known what the doctor was planning to do during the gynecological exam.

Grund denied his guilt during the entire trial and his attorney did his best to prove his innocence by questioning the DNA tests submitted as evidence.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, lh, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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