Gynaecologist Freed of Rape Charges 15 Years Later

Dr Shauffie Ali thanks attorneys Pamela Elder SC and John Heath after he was acquitted on a rape charge at the San Fernando High Court yesterday. (PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA / TRINIDAD GUARDIAN)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – A 71-year-old gynaecologist was freed by a High Court after he was accused of raping a woman 15 years ago.

Dr. Shauffie David Ali, who is also the owner and medical director of Gulf View Medical Centre, had gone on trial before Justice Hayden St. Clair-Douglas last month, charged with grievous sexual assault and rape.

The woman, who was then 21, alleged that Ali raped her in his office on April 8, 2003. But the jury took less than an hour to find the medical practitioner not guilty.

The court heard that the woman had attempted suicide after two miscarriages and was a patient at the medical centre for two days in March 2003.

The woman alleged she received a call from Ali’s office for her to make an appointment to see him. The woman claimed she visited Ali’s office on April 1 and 2, 2003 and that on the third visit on April 8, the doctor raped her in his office.

But the defence three witnesses, including the doctor’s daughter, a receptionist and a nurse, produced evidence showing that there was no record of any appointment for the woman to see the doctor and that the receptionist said she called the woman once for her to come to the office to pay her bill and not to set up an appointment.

The nurse told the court that on the day of the alleged rape she was in the theatre with the doctor, who was performing a caesarean.

“I have a smile on my face. I feel good,’ Ali said as he left the court on Monday. – CMC