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Police in Paraguay have arrested a fugitive Brazilian
fertility doctor, Roger Abdelmassih, sentenced for
sexually abusing 39 of his patients.
He had been on the run since 2011, after being
convicted to 278 years in prison for assaulting
women at his fertility clinic in Sao Paulo.
Abdelmassih was well-known in Brazil and treated
He had been living with his wife and two children in
an exclusive district of the Paraguayan capital,
His arrest by officers of Paraguay’s National Anti-
Drugs Secretariat followed a joint investigation with
the Brazilian authorities.
Abdelmassih, 70, has been taken to the Brazilian
border city of Foz do Iguacu and later will be
transferred to Sao Paulo, where he committed his
Despite the long sentence, under Brazilian law he can
only serve a maximum of 30 years.
‘Anaesthetic hallucinations’ Some of the women he
abused posted messages on Twitter and Facebook
celebrating his arrest.
He was originally arrested in 2009 after being
denounced by a former employee.
Thirty-nine women came forward to say he had
raped or sexually abused them during medical
examinations or when they were in recovery rooms
after receiving fertility treatment.
Some said they were abused when they were
recovering from sedation. The abuse took place
between 1995 and 2008.
He said that he was never alone with any of his
patients, and has suggested that some may have
suffered hallucinations brought on by an anaesthetic.
Abdelmassih was convicted in 2010 and was initially
allowed to remain free while he appealed against his
But he fled Brazil a year later when a court in Sao
Paulo ordered his arrest.