Fake doctor arrested in rapes of nine women

A 46-year-old man from Tilburg is in custody on suspicion of pretending to be a doctor and raping at least nine women. He was arrested on March 15th, but it was only announced on Thursday during a pre-trial hearing in a court in Breda, Omroep Brabant reports.

The Public Prosecutor believes that suspect Ron O. started pretending to be a doctor in 2007. While doing so he gave a number of women physical examinations, including pelvic exams, breast exams and pap smears. This happened mostly at his home in Tilburg.

O. found his victims at a gym where he worked as a sports masseur. They trusted the man, describing him as a "friendly softy and teddy bear". They only later discovered that he was not a doctor.

The case came to light when one of the women went to the police on November 6th last year. More charges trickled in after that. Many of the victims knew each other. The authorities believe there may be more victims.

According to the Public Prosecutor, O. "seriously harmed the women's physical integrity". The suspect's mental state is currently being examined by the Netherlands Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology. He largely confessed his crimes, says he regrets his actions and feels very ashamed.

The Public Prosecutor want's to keep the man in Custody. But O.'s lawyer thinks that is not sensible. According to the lawyer, there was no rape by force or violence.

The criminal case appears in court on September 5th.