By I. Bea Leeve I do hope noted #BelieveAllSurvivors hashtag warrior Kendra Coombes is getting the answers she’s looking for, from recent testimony at the N.S. College of Physicians and Surgeons disciplinary hearing of Sydney OB/GYN Dr. Manivasan Moodley.
An enthusiastic participant at that demonstration in support of the good doctor back in January, you’ll remember the CBRM councillor and Dipper provincial byelection candidate is of the opinion that although nobody at the rally wanted to intimidate his two female complainants, she said demonstrators “want fair process. We do want answers.” (Frank 834) This despite the fact that many demonstrators did indeed call for the complainants to be identified, along with making accusations of collusion and racism. Both were patients of his during July of 2017 when the alleged incidents took place.
Frank attended the first morning of the hearing, chaired by lefty Pink Larkin employment lawyer Ray Larkin.
At the beginning of the hearing, Dr. Moodley’s Newfie lawyer Robin Cook (Curtis Dawe Lawyers, St. John’s) noted that the panel has to be careful to focus on the evidence in front of them and not irrelevant side issues, including the rally of support.
Speaking of the rally, complainant #1, a professional in her 30s, said she’s deathly afraid of being identified and thought of dropping out of the process numerous times. But she ultimately decided to stick it out because she pictured other women having to put up with what she went through.
The woman calmly testified that her appointment started off on a strange note with him asking, “What would a young beautiful girl like you be doing here,” and it got worse from there. Before her ultrasound and pap test, Dr. Moodley asked her if she ever had anal sex, if she ever used any toys, and whether or not she is “tight.”
She was shocked, and knew such a question was inappropriate.
“Some men like it tight, some men like it a little bit loose,” she says he explained.
During the ultrasound - she’s lying there on her back, with her panties pulled partway down, he comments that her tattoos are “nice.”
After the pap test — which included him rubbing lubricant on her vaginal opening with his gloved hand — she says he reassured her: “Don’t worry, you’re not loose.”
“What kind of orgasms do you have?” was another question he allegedly asked her following the pap test.
“I was taken aback by that,” she told College lawyer Marjorie Hickey. “I didn’t know how to answer that.”
Finally, she answered that she had clitoral orgasms.
“You know, you can have vaginal orgasms, too,” she says he responded. “A woman can be stimulated through her nipples and clitoris,” he allegedly said.
Although Frank was not present during Dr. Moodley’s testimony, CBC gal Carolyn Ray reported that he denied making any and all inappropriate comments, but admitted to the touching, and explained he did it with consent, according to his training at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in South Africa. He stopped doing that part after the complaint came in. He also said it’s possible there was a discussion of vaginal elasticity and orgasms, but all for very professional, non-creepy gynecological reasons.
The second complainant testified that Dr Moodley asked about her preferred method of masturbation – toys or fingers – and noted during an ultrasound that he complimented the fact that her underwear and lipstick matched.
She also said he asked if her children could hear her scream while she had sex with her husband.
In case you’re wondering, he didn’t say any of that stuff, either.
The hearing continues later this month.
I called Kendra to see if she believed these survivors yet, but she didn’t get back to me before I went to press.
Born in India, both complaints came just a few months after Dr. Moodley arrived in Canada in 2017. The Murphy Road, Westmount resident continues to practise, under strict conditions to never be alone with patients, and have posters displayed in his office noting same.