OBGYN sex assault case goes to Utah Supreme Court
Oct 19, 2023, 6:32 PM | Updated: 6:53 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — More than 130 women say a now retired Provo OBGYN used his position of trust to sexually assault them. Their lawsuit was thrown out about a year ago. Now they’re looking to the Utah Supreme Court to get the case heard.
A fourth district judge in Provo said the case should instead be tried as medical malpractice. The accusers say that’s not right and that they were sexually abused, and he needs to be held accountable in that way.
Heather Prinz said to have this case thrown out about a year ago, “It felt like a massive slap in the face.”
She said it’s important that her story and that of more than 130 others is heard the right way.
“The specific allegations that we have against this man are not healthcare. It was sexual assault,” Prinz said.
And that’s no technicality. She says it happened more than 20 years ago when she was pregnant with her first child, something that she kept to herself.
Other women are taken aback when Prinz shares her story. “It’s shock. It’s like ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve never heard of that happening,'” Prinz said.
She says it was, in part, things that OBGYN David H. Broadbent said. “And he had a very explicit conversation with me,” she said regarding relations with her husband and how she looked in the exam room.
“I’m still sitting there, draped in a thin paper sheet, not covering most of me at all. He would say, ‘Well, your husband is a lucky man.'” she recounted.
But more than inappropriate words is what she says he did.
“He reached up and grabbed my naked legs and just shoved me towards him where my butt was hanging off the table. I kind of yelped out, he kind of chuckles, and that’s how I had my exam.”
There was also inappropriate touching. “Out of nowhere, with no warning whatsoever, he just says, ‘You’re not going to like this,'” Prinz said.
A bit too graphic for this article. It’s important to these women that this case is tried as sexual assault. Since the statute of limitations is different for medical malpractice, that type of case would drop from well over 100 accusers to maybe less than a dozen. Prinz says Broadbent needs to be held accountable for taking that position of trust way too far.
Prinz said, “It feels like a massive betrayal.”
The Utah Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the case, starting at 9 a.m. Friday.
The justices will simply deliberate over whether the case should be heard as presented, as a sexual assault lawsuit. It could be months before we hear their decision.