FORT LAUDERDALE — Prosecutors in the Broward State Attorney’s Office say they doubt a rape victim’s account that she was sexually assaulted by her doctor and question whether a tape recording of the encounter produced as evidence was staged.
As a result, prosecutors have declined pursuing the case.
An unidentified woman accused prominent physician Edwin H. Hamilton of sexual assaulting her in his Pompano Beach office during an examination on May 11. Detectives from the Broward Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Special Victims Unit arrested Hamilton, 79, the same day.
According to the allegations, during a struggle between the woman and Hamilton, her cell phone fell and happened to redial the last number she had called, which was the number of her sister, who recorded the alleged encounter.
The recording, which was taken into evidence, captured conversation prosecutors are describing as “flirtatious” and say it may have led to a “consensual encounter.”
During the investigation of the allegations, a 2009 sexual assault complaint the woman had filed against a paramedic who was transporting her to the hospital was discovered. Prosecutors opted not to file charges in that case due to a lack of evidence to support the woman’s claims.
“Due to this victim’s prior unsubstantiated allegation and the sound of the voices on the taped call, it appears as if [the victim] is being less than truthful as to the allegations of sexual battery,” Assistant State Attorney Christine Adler wrote in her July 11 memo closing out the case.
“I advised her that the conversation and the fact that it was coincidentally taped sounded, in my professional opinion, as if she was making sure she had evidence to implicate him,” Adler wrote. “She told me she had to make those comments during the event because on her previous case she didn’t have enough to get the charge filed and this time she wanted to make sure she had enough evidence.”
Hamilton’s attorney, J. David Bogenschutz, has said he provided the state attorney’s office with “a wealth of information which called the believability of the information into question.”
“They decided to ‘no info’ the information, which means the charges were never filed,” Bogenschutz said.
Prosecutors have not said if any investigation of the victim or her sister is under way.