Hawaii Island moms accuse their children’s doctor of inappropriate behavior
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It all started with one text message posted online. Now, more women are coming forward to claim a Big Island pediatrician went too far.
Four mothers said their kids’ doctor tried establishing an inappropriate relation with them.
They were all single moms at the time, and they say he crossed the line.
“He’s literally picking on vulnerable women, and it’s not OK,” said Aila Umiamaka, of Waikoloa.
After her daughter’s doctor’s appointment last Tuesday, Umiamaka — a single mom of two — said she received text messages from her daughter’s pediatrician.
He told her it “seems like she could use a friend” and if she’s interested, he could help.
The doctor then appeared to offer her money and texted the following, “Oh, we can match because I have money and you need money, laugh out loud.”
“Like to me that was an insult, like I wasn’t flattered and to me that wasn’t harmless,” said Umiamaka. “Like that’s just him preying on me over my disadvantage.”
Hawaii News Now is not identifying the doctor because he hasn’t been charged with a crime.
HNN is also not identifying his place of employment, but the clinic where the doctor works said they’re aware of the allegations and are conducting an internal investigation.
HNN did call the number that texted Umiamaka but got a recording that the number was disconnected.
Umiamaka posted the conversation online, and quickly others reached out with similar stories.
“The first thing he made a point of saying was, like, how great I look, how great my figure was, and his tone and body language was like, he was looking me up and down,” said Keakealani Iona, of Kailua-Kona.
“And it was like really uncomfortable.”
Kevi Ann Andrade of Keeau said he “started making remarks such as, ‘Well, if you’re not seeing anybody, maybe we should go out on a date.’”
“And he was like, oh, but it would be weird to see you with an older man, wouldn’t it?”
Other moms said this has been going on as far back as 2014.
Gethsemane Reissig said the doctor offered her his house when she was 19 and living in a domestic violence shelter. “I went for a doctor visit, he started asking me if I wanted to come stay with him, he had a big house and it was empty,” she said. “His daughter moved out and he wanted me to come stay there with my kids.”
Reissig said he complimented her.
“He will tell me I’m super pretty, beautiful,” saud Reissig. “After that happened, I was just like, super uncomfortable, I was like oh man this is creepy.”
Professor Will Weinstein who teaches ethics courses at UH said the doctor’s alleged actions aren’t acceptable.
“Most ethical issues are gray, this one’s black and white,” said Weinstein. “There’s no possibility that this is in any way ethical. And by the way, I think it’s not legal and the AMA, American Medical Association strictly forbids things like this.”
Weinstein said if you think a doctor has crossed the line, you should reach out to an attorney.
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