Women file lawsuit that Novi doctor sexually touched them

- A Novi doctor facing serious allegations of misconduct in a lawsuit, two women are claiming the doctor sexually assaulted them in his office.

"He was in my inner thighs and rubbing the outside of my thighs and I don't know if was trying to, I just stopped him and said hey," said Terri Hutcherson.

Hutcherson says that was just one episode of many during visits with Novi Dr. Maury Ellenberg.

"He got in between my legs and told me to push," said Valerie Gayles.

Valerie Gayles says she too was a victim of Ellenberg's advances.

She was being treated for a work-related hand injury but says Ellenberg often had her perform squats during visits while wearing a robe with an open back.

"And I felt something as I was doing the squats and I turned around and looked, and saw his penis erect as I was doing the squats and I felt it on my butt," she said.

Those are just a few of the allegations outlined in a malpractice lawsuit against Ellenberg, a physician from Novi.

According to the complaint filed in Oakland County Circuit Court, Ellenberg cupped one of the women's breasts, rubbed their thighs and gave them unwanted hugs and kisses.

They say when they rebuffed him he would get angry and threatened to kick them out of the program.

"I just wanted to keep my job because the insurance company that they had sent me, they recommended I go there for pain treatment," said Gayles.

The alleged incidents happened in the spring of 2014. Both women went to police, Hutcherson two weeks after it all happened and Gayles 10 months later.

Ellenberg was never charged with a crime. The Oakland County Prosecutor's office says there was no evidence or witnesses to corroborate the women's claims.

"There are witnesses - my clients are witnesses," said attorney Sarah Prescott. "One woman's word should be enough for them to say 'Ok then that doctor can answer to a jury of his peers. One word should be enough.'"

Prescott is representing both women in the lawsuit and say they're not the only victims of Ellenberg's inappropriate behavior.

"I've seen three people's different police reports," Prescott said. "Including two that are sitting in this room and one that isn't. I've seen another woman who contacted the police and reported some sort of sexual misconduct. And then I've been contacted personally as a private attorney by another woman who in turns tells me that there's another woman."

Jennifer Andreou, Ellenberg's attorney, calls the doctor a pillar of the community and said the women's allegations are baseless saying they gave conflicting statements to police and that Ellenberg took a polygraph and passed it "with flying colors."

"Oh really, flying colors huh," Prescott said. "Why don't you cough it up then?"

In the meantime Gayles and Hutcherson say they want the doctor's bad behavior to stop with them.

"Wanting somebody to do something before he does it to somebody else because it was humiliating," Hutcherson said.

The state board of medicine fined Ellenberg $500 and put him on probation last year over some of these allegations. His lawyer says they are looking forward to their day in court and are planning to sue those two women for defamation after successfully defending this case.

The Oakland County Prosecutor's office says they could reopen Ellenberg's case and press criminal charges if new information comes to light in this malpractice case. The Detroit Medical Center is not commenting on the allegations.

 


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