LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A 50-year-old dentist charged with sexually abusing nine patients at his Koreatown office pleaded not guilty today to more than a dozen counts.
Emad Fathy Moawad, who has dual citizenship in Egypt and the U.S., made his initial court appearance two weeks ago on nine counts of sexual battery by restraint, three counts of sexual penetration by use of force and one count of attempted sexual penetration by use of force.
After entering his plea Monday, he was ordered to return to court on July 7, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
The judge earlier ordered Moawad held without bail until his Egyptian passport was surrendered or proof was presented that it had expired. Moawad remains at Twin Towers Correctional Facility in lieu of $1.955 million bail, according to jail records.
Moawad was previously ordered not to leave Los Angeles County and not to practice dentistry if released on bond.
Prosecutors allege the assaults occurred between 2013 and 2018 at the dentist's office on Beverly Boulevard and Normandie Avenue. The victims ranged in age from 27 to 73 years old.
When the charges were first announced, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon alleged that Moawad targeted patients unlikely to report his crimes and urged any other victims to come forward.
“This case is especially concerning because its victims are low-income people and immigrants who are less likely to report crimes due to fear,'' Gascon said at the time.
“We are asking other possible victims to come forward and help us keep our community safe.''
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Los Angeles Police Department's Operation West Bureau Special Assault Section at 213-473-0447.
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