CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Sexual assault charges filed against Utah OB-GYN

Jun 27, 2024, 3:18 PM | Updated: 7:25 pm

Women who claim they were abused by a Provo OB-GYN pose for a photo for reporters on the steps of t...

Women who claim they were abused by a Provo OB-GYN pose for a photo for reporters on the steps of the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City after their case was argued before the Utah Supreme Court. (Meghan Thackrey, KSL-TV)

(Meghan Thackrey, KSL-TV)

PROVO, Utah — The Utah County Attorney’s office has filed a criminal charge against a Provo OB-GYN accused of sexual assault.

Dr. David Harrison Broadbent is facing one count of forcible sexual abuse. According to charging documents, Broadbent inappropriately touched a woman in 2020 during a medical exam.

“Finally,” thought one alleged victim

Almost 100 women have filed a civil lawsuit saying they were abused by Broadbent. Stephanie Mateer is one of those women. She says her first thought after learning that criminal charges were filed was “finally.”

Mateer said she was assaulted in 2008 while receiving medical care from Broadbent. She says she doubted herself when it first happened.

“Going from doubting myself to seeing all these women coming forward saying this happened to me too — that absolutely validates my experience,” Mateer said. “[It] makes me feel like ‘ok I can trust myself.’ I know that I was violated and this was wrong and I’m glad that the police are seeing it that way too and that prosecutors are pressing charges.”

40 years ago

Brooke Heath said she was assaulted in 2008 at an Intermountain Facility while at an appointment. She’s also a plaintiff on the lawsuit.

She said it wasn’t until two years ago that she learned what had happened to her was a criminal offense. She said she’s timed out of the statute of limitations, so she couldn’t report her case to police.

According to Heath, some victims said they were assaulted almost 40 years ago.

“Unfortunately, it’s been decades. So 12 years, I guess, is a long time but understanding the scope of time that this has been happening is just a drop in the bucket.”

The civil case was heard by Utah’s Supreme Court in an appeal in October, 2023, after it was dismissed by a lower court in 2022. The district court judge called Broadbent’s treatment of patients “insensitive, disrespectful and degrading,” but he said any legal action against a doctor would be considered medical malpractice under Utah Code.

Anxiously awaiting an update on Provo OB-GYN

Mateer said for the past 8 months, since the Utah Supreme Court hearing, she’s been anxiously awaiting an update.

“The wheels of justice are very very slow,” Heath said. But she said she is still hopeful that the court will side with the victims.

The criminal filing on Thursday won’t directly impact the civil suit, but Heath says the charges still feel validating.

The Utah County Attorney’s office and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate other allegations They will determine at a later date if they will file more charges.

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Sexual assault charges filed against Utah OB-GYN