Police on Monday arrested a 53-year-old man from central Israel who is suspected of posing as a doctor in order to perform breast exams on women.
The alleged decade-long sexual assault scheme was uncovered by the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
An investigative report by Yedioth revealed that the writer and publishing executive from Herzliya had sexually assaulted dozens of women over the last 10 years under the guise of medical consultations, pretending to be a visiting doctor from Canada.
Though the man was named in the report, a court put a gag order on publishing his name in subsequent reports. He has been ordered held until the end of the week.
One victim who identified herself only as Karen told the paper she contacted the “doctor” last year when she was having difficult nursing her newborn.
“Even nursing counselors couldn’t figure out what the problem was,” she said. “Everyone thought it was nothing.”
Karen described the months after childbirth as the most difficult time in her life, and when health professionals couldn’t help, she began to search for answers online. She recalled stumbling across the blog of an Israeli man who claimed to be a top breast surgeon living in Canada.
When she reached out, he told her that he would be visiting Israel in the coming weeks and urged her to schedule a private appointment with him.
The “doctor” explained that since he was a longtime resident of Canada, he did not have a medical license or offices in Israel. He directed her to a “private clinic” for the exam, which he said belonged to a local colleague.
But an undercover investigation by Yedioth revealed that the clinic was actually an unused space on the fourth floor of his publishing company’s office building, and the “doctor” who had been giving medical consultations to women for over 10 years never attended medical school.
The paper further found that the place of employment he listed on several of his online profiles, the Barrie Health Department, does not exist in Canada or anywhere else. A cyber expert confirmed to the paper that the domains of his blogs and websites were based in Israel.
A Yedioth reporter who went undercover as a potential patient last week confirmed the man was booking appointments at his Herzliya office after hours.
Other reporters posing as ghost writers looking for a book publisher met with the man on Sunday at his office, where he admitted to them that he never went to medical school but boasted of his extensive medical knowledge.
When the reporters confronted him about the doctor scam, he insisted that he was innocent, although he admitted to knowing about it.
“Its not me, but I know there’s a guy who does that,” the suspect told reporters. “It’s not me, but I know who it is…He and I are somewhat similar.”
“I never posed as anyone else, or treated any of the women,” he said.