Doctor appears in court on sex abuse charge


by Adam Walser

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 7:30 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A popular Louisville neurologist made his first court appearance on sexual abuse charges Wednesday.
Dr. Ghias Arar is accused of inappropriately touching a female patient. On Wednesday more women have allegedly come forward with new accusations.
Dr. Arar was arrested Friday after a patient complained he sexually abused her.
He was placed on an emergency restriction Tuesday, and on Wednesday a judge ordered that he not be allowed to leave the United States while he awaits trial.
“He was arrested within hours of this incident. It happened extremely fast,” Arar’s alleged victim, Tara Batrice said.
She said Dr. Arar attacked her at his office during an exam last Friday.
“I immediately went to the hospital so a detective could be called, so I could show them the evidence,” Batrice said.
She indicated that police collected DNA evidence from her clothing that came from the encounter.
On Tuesday, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure restricted Arar, allowing him to treat only male patients until the complaint is resolved.
Batrice's attorney Thomas Clay says he has been contacted by a number of Arar's former female patients who make similar claims.
“I've talked to about 10, some of which wish to remain anonymous, others who have given statements to the police and the Board of Medical Licensure,” Clay said. “As a result of those statements, I’m convinced Dr. Arar is a serial sexual predator.”
“This young man has been the target of falsehoods, and I think it’s gonna be real clear by the end of this,” Arar’s attorney F. Todd Lewis said. 
Lewis believes his client has been targeted for one reason.
“There is a clear financial interest at stake in this. It has created undue pressure I think,” Lewis said.

On Wednesday the prosecutor asked a judge to order Arar not to leave the United States.
He is a U.S. citizen, but was born in Syria and still has family there, according to his attorney.
“He's facing disciplinary action from the board of medical licensure, which could result in the closure of his business. Plus he owns property in Syria,” Clay said.
Another concern of prosecutors is that it appears that Dr. Arar is already ready to move. Long before his arrest and before the medical board action, he put his upscale Lake Forest home on the market.
The 4,700 square foot house is titled to Arar and his wife. It is listed for $565,000.
“I filed a formal complaint on him with the medical board,” another former patient, who wished to remain anonymous said.
The woman says she filed a complaint against Dr. Arar two weeks ago.
She says her case did not involve sex, but alleged malpractice and insurance fraud.
“He falsely put a bunch of things in my medical records that were not true. The false diagnoses, him saying he did all these things he never did,” she said.
Dr. Arar will be back in court on March 19.
His attorney says he will vigorously defend himself against all of the charges.