7News has learned a South Florida doctor who is already being sued for inappropriately touching a patient, is now being investigated by police for the same allegation. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case with a 7News exclusive.
WSVN — Dr. Manuel Abreu is featured in a YouTube video talking about his former medical practice in Palm Beach County. 7News has learned he is now the subject of an investigation by the Delray Beach Police Department, and is also named in a lawsuit filed by a former patient.
Dawn Basham: “Never expected anything like this to happen. I went there to be healed because you know, I was in pain and you look to your doctor to help you.”
Dawn Basham says she was being treated by Dr. Abreu for a cyst on her leg just above her knee.
Dawn Basham: “But then the next thing I know, his hands are moving from wiping my knee to wiping my upper thigh up my butt and then up my crotch over my underwear. So I kinda froze because it was so unexpected.”
Dawn is an anti-bullying motivational speaker and says she decided to file a lawsuit against the doctor to stand up for herself and perhaps to protect others.
Dawn Basham: “But he did it to the wrong person because that’s what I’m all about.”
Attorney Adam Horowitz represents Dawn.
Adam Horowitz: “What we allege in this lawsuit was the intentional, purposeful act of sexual assault that was neither invited nor welcomed.”
Carmel Cafiero: “Dr. Abreu worked here at Personal Physician Care in Delray Beach. The lawsuit also names it and claims Dr. Abreu sexually assaulted other women here.
Daisy Colon, a former employee, says she is one of them.
Daisy Colon: “So when I passed through the sink side, he was coming this way and I was going that way and he touched my private areas. And I just looked at him and I said, ‘What did you do that for?’ And he just grinned and my heart just hit the floor at that point.”
This woman says she was also assaulted by Dr. Abreu in his office. She’s a pharmaceutical rep and has asked that we not show her face.
Woman: “And as I got up and walked away, he literally grabbed my skirt and there’s a mirror in his office and pulled at my dress. It was a dress, pulled it up and grabbed my buttocks with two hands. I was stunned. I was speechless.”
All three women have filed police reports about their experiences. Dawn’s was first and was closed for lack of evidence. But now the Delray Beach Police Department says there’s an open investigation concerning Dr. Abreu. And there may be more.
Daisy says a number of former co-workers complained about problems with Dr. Abreu. According to the lawsuit, despite the complaints, Personal Physician Care took no action.
Daisy Colon: “So we were all scared for our jobs, so we just let it go after they took the statements we didn’t hear nothing about it.”
Despite repeated calls, we had no response from Dr. Abreu’s attorney to requests for comment on the case. The attorney for Personal Physician Care sent an email that says the practice has been “wrongly accused” adding, “I have every expectation that Personal Physician Care will ultimately be vindicated once this case is tried before a Palm Beach County jury.”
Both the practice and the doctor have filed motions to dismiss claiming the case should be addressed as an accusation of medical malpractice and not sexual battery. The practice also claims it is not responsible for Dr. Abreu’s alleged actions.
As for Dr. Abreu, he is no longer working at Personal Physician Care.
And Wednesday Daisy Colon also filed a lawsuit naming both the doctor and the practice for sexual battery.
Carmel Cafiero, 7News.
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