More Than 20 Women Accused a Prominent Pasadena Obstetrician of Mistreating Them. He Denied Claims and Was Able to Continue Practicing.

More Than 20 Women Accused a Prominent Pasadena Obstetrician of Mistreating Them. He Denied Claims and Was Able to Continue Practicing.

John and Diane Vidalakis settled a lawsuit against obstetrician Dr. Patrick Sutton after he severely injured Diane during the delivery of their daughter at Huntington Memorial Hospital.  [Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times]

John and Diane Vidalakis settled a lawsuit against obstetrician Dr. Patrick Sutton after he severely injured Diane during the delivery of their daughter at Huntington Memorial Hospital. [Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times]

For the birth of their first child, social worker Diane Vidalakis and her husband chose one of Pasadena’s most prominent obstetricians, Dr. Patrick Sutton, vice chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

Labor initially progressed smoothly, with the couple listening to music and watching “Dancing With The Stars” in the hospital maternity ward.

Sutton arrived for the delivery in what the Vidalakises would later testify was a frenzied state. He shouted that he had to do an emergency caesarean section and then backtracked, picked up a pair of scissors and made three progressively deeper incisions into the base of Vidalakis’ vagina, according to interviews, court records and a medical board complaint.

A California doctor is accused of unwanted sexual advances, medical incompetence, the maiming of women's genitals and the preventable death of an infant, a team reported after uncovering claims from more than 20 women. Yet he continued to practice for decades.

Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton, writing for the Los Angeles Times, have the story.

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