WEST LINN, Ore. — (Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault that may be triggering to some readers.)
Women who allege they were sexually abused by a local doctor are frustrated about a grand jury's decision not to move forward with criminal charges.
The two women who spoke to KGW, Lisa Pratt and her best friend Katie Medley, put their faith in the criminal justice system.
But now they said they’re disappointed and angry about the grand jury’s decision not to indict former doctor, David Farley who practiced for decades in West Linn.
“I just couldn't quite shake the feeling of something feeling very off,” said Pratt.
That is how her years-long nightmare started.
“He was a Harvard medical school graduate and a member of our church and beloved by so many,” said Pratt.
But Pratt along with other women and girls, are accusing Farley of sexual abuse. Pratt said she was abused between 2015 and 2018.
A grand jury in Clackamas County recently decided not to indict Farley after claims of sexual abuse and misconduct surfaced.
“This is why women don't go to police. This is why people don't report, because they're not taken seriously,” said Pratt.
In 2019 there was a separate investigation focused on improper pelvic exams on minors and the doctor taking photos of children's genitals, according to the Oregonian.
That resulted in the Oregon Medical Board stripping Farley of his medical license in 2020 for dishonorable and unprofessional conduct and gross or repeated negligence. The Oregonian reported Farley has since moved out of state.
Pratt remembers when she was nearly nine months pregnant and wanted a procedure called a membrane sweep to induce labor and alleviate pain. She said Farley told her he wasn't in the office, but that she could come to his home.
“When I look back, of course it sounds crazy. But I trusted him. His wife walked me back to their bedroom and laid a towel down on the bed and walked out of the room," recalled Pratt. "He returned alone, by himself, and shut the door. He swept my membranes, which is a very quick procedure. But then it didn't stop, and I remember laying there wondering, 'what's happening right now?' then I yelled 'ouch' really loud and he jumped, and he started fumbling over his words.”
She said later, at a two-week checkup for the child who had recently been born, the doctor brought up concerns over breast milk production.
“He stuck his hand down my shirt and started to fondle and squeeze my breast. I just remember thinking, 'this is really weird' I've never ever had somebody, a doctor do that, even a lactation consultant after delivery, touch my breasts without consent,” Pratt said.
Pratt who is a mother to four kids and has a medical background as a nurse, started talking to her friends as well as community members and stories came out.
“We're best friends and so in 2020 she asked me if I had ever had a strange experience with Dr. Farley,” said Medley.
Medley is just as angry as Pratt about the lack of criminal charges.
“We knew him through the Mormon church and so we also trusted him as an ecclesiastical leader,” Medley said.
Both she and Pratt said their trust in the church has now been shaken. Medley said during a pap smear, Farley put his ungloved hand inside of her.
“[It] did not feel like a medical exam and he said, 'Oh everything feels so good.' Then he took his hand out and fondled my genitals and tried to get me to have some kind of a corrective procedure on my labia that he thought that I needed, and the whole time touching me with his ungloved hand,” recounted Medley.
“I felt a lot of shame. I left that appointment in tears.”
Medley and Pratt said only 20-30 women testified in front of the grand jury, but they said about 200 women and girls have stepped forward with allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct.
“Over 200 women can come forward and it's still not enough and that really needs to change,” said Pratt.
Clackamas County District Attorney John Wentworth said his office had just over 100 reports.
He said he understands the deep frustration and anger associated with the grand jury's decision. He emphasized that the decision was not one made by his office or prosecutors, but rather a grand jury that spent four months looking at the case and called dozens of witnesses.
The case was treated the same as any other case in Clackamas County, Wentworth said.
But Medley and Pratt feel the DA’s office dropped the ball and didn't bring all the evidence forward to the grand jury.
In a statement, Wentworth said attorneys for the women who say they experienced sexual abuse did not provide additional victim information or evidence.
“The bar in a criminal proceeding is always proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It's a very, very high bar. It's meant to be high,” said Wentworth.
He said he has dedicated himself to protecting victims of violent crime and sexual assault.
“But at the end of the day, I also have a commitment and an ethical duty to only present to the grand jury evidence that would otherwise be admissible at trial. The law requires me to do that,” Wentworth said.
Wentworth said anger has been misdirected at his office and prosecutors.
“I understand when things don't go as folks hope they will, that there's going to be anger. It's been misdirected unfortunately, right now. This office has a commitment like no other to helping victims like this and it's disheartening. It's hard to watch. But I also understand it and will carry on and I hope they do as well,” he said.
The decision not to indict is a source of stress for women like Medley and Pratt. They're setting their sights on the Department of Justice and hoping Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum opens an investigation.
“I'm a mother of four and I have to constantly be fighting for this and also try and be present and there for my children and give them a normal life and be a happy mom. When some days all I want to do is curl up in my bed and cry,” said Pratt.
“I don't know how much harder we have to fight but I will. I'll keep doing it because I believe every single one of us deserves justice.”
“I'm not going to be quiet about it anymore and none of us are,” said Medley.
The fact that Farley was a doctor and had consent for medical procedures makes the case more difficult to pursue criminally, according to Wentworth.
That reasoning doesn't cut it for Pratt and Medley. While they also have a civil case against Farley, they said criminal charges and a conviction will be the things that protect other women and girls.
Medley said the civil suit is focused on holding people responsible who may have known what was happening.
Both Pratt and Medley are encouraging other potential victims to come forward as well.
KGW called a phone number believed to belong to Farley but have not received a call back.