was an LDS church member and obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) doctor in Provo, Utah; in 2022, dozens of women joined a class action lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault; in 2022, a Utah judge dismissed the case; as of October 2023, nearly 300 victims had come forward, but Broadbent had not been charged with a sex crime

Case Summary

David Broadbent was an active LDS church member and obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) doctor in Provo, Utah.

He was married in the Mesa, Arizona Mormon temple in 1973.

In 2022, dozens of women came together in a class action lawsuit in Utah, accusing Dr. David Broadbent of sexually abusing them. A judge dismissed the case, “determining that because their alleged assailant is a doctor, the case must be governed by medical malpractice rules rather than those that apply to cases of sexual assault” (ProPublica, 2023-02-22).

In October 2023, over 90 women planned to appeal to the Utah Supreme Court on October 20 regarding their 2022 lawsuit against Broadbent.

As of October 2023, Broadbent has not been arrested or charged with a sex crime.

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Sources
  1. David H. Broadbent Claims Arizona Bride
    view source details | 1 Jan 1974 | Provo Daily Herald
  2. Sexual abuse class action lawsuit now has 50 Jane Does, more expected
    view source details | 17 Mar 2022 | Provo Daily Herald
  3. Attorney prepares malpractice claim against Provo OB/GYN accused of sexual abuse
    view source details | 20 Jan 2023 | Provo Daily Herald
  4. 94 Women Allege a Utah Doctor Sexually Assaulted Them. Here’s Why a Judge Threw Out Their Case.
    view source details | 22 Feb 2023 | ProPublica
  5. Utah women among dozens appealing court’s decision regarding Provo OB-GYN lawsuit
    view source details | 12 Oct 2023 | ABC4
Sources excerpts
  • David H. Broadbent Claims Arizona Bride
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Provo Daily Herald
    Date published/accessed: 1 Jan 1974
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    Sexual abuse class action lawsuit now has 50 Jane Does, more expected
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Provo Daily Herald
    Date published/accessed: 17 Mar 2022
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    Attorney prepares malpractice claim against Provo OB/GYN accused of sexual abuse
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Provo Daily Herald
    Date published/accessed: 20 Jan 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

    The sign for David Broadbent's office in the North University Medical & Dental facility in Provo is shown on Thursday, March 17, 2022.

    On Oct. 4, 2022, Fourth District Court Judge Robert Lunnen dismissed a class action lawsuit against Dr. David Broadbent, a Provo obstetrics and gynecology specialist accused of sexual abuse and sexual battery of female patients. Over 80 women originally signed on to the lawsuit.

    Lunnen did so because he believed the charges should have been medical malpractice claims and that pre-litigation procedures were not done correctly.

    Now, attorney Eric Nielson is representing more than 20 “Jane Does” — along with other attorneys representing possibly up to 200 more women — in filing a malpractice claim against Broadbent, Nielson told the Daily Herald.

    Nielson sent a letter to Utah County Attorney Jeff Gray on Wednesday, asking why the office did not pursue criminal charges against Broadbent.

    “My clients are some of the most powerless individuals in our society — many do not speak English and they do not have health insurance,” Nielson wrote. “You will, of course, fulfill your oath as a prosecutor if you choose to prosecute Dr. Broadbent.”

    When asked about Nielson’s letter and the decision to not charge Broadbent, representatives for the Utah County Attorney’s office were caught off guard and lacked background on the case.

    “We’re still waiting for additional information,” said Tim Taylor, attorney’s office chief of staff.

    According to then-county attorney David Leavitt, the case was not referred to his office by Provo police.

    In his letter, Nielson argued in favor of charges for Broadbent by quoting policy from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. ACOG is the only professional organization for OB/GYNs and is universally regarded as the “governing body” for the specialty.

    ACOG Recommendations Number 796 states, “Sexual misconduct by an obstetrician – gynecologist is an abuse of power and a violation of patients’ trust. Sexual or romantic interaction between an obstetrician – gynecologist and a current patient is always unethical, is grounds for investigation and sanction, and in some cases should be considered for criminal prosecution.”

    The ACOG also states that Obstetrician-gynecologists are obligated ethically and professionally to report sexual misconduct or suspected sexual misconduct by any health care professional to appropriate authorities, such as supervisors, department chairs or other institutional officials, peer review organizations and professional licensing boards.

    Nielson indicated that many of his clients came forward in March and April 2022 to describe their experiences to the Provo Police Department.

    “The experience was profoundly disquieting. Investigating officers minimized their complaints. They were dismissive,” Nielson wrote. He added that officers asked a series of questions that clients found invasive including “Why didn’t you come to us sooner?” and “How do you know this wasn’t just a routine pelvic exam?”

    According to ACOG guidelines, “Sexual impropriety may comprise behavior, gestures, or expressions that are seductive, sexually suggestive, disrespectful of patient privacy, or sexually demeaning to a patient that may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Performing an intimate examination or consultation without clinical justification or appropriate consent;
    Examination or touching of genital mucosal areas without the use of gloves;
    Inappropriate comments about or to the patient, including but not limited to, making sexual comments about a patient’s body or underclothing, making sexualized or sexually demeaning comments to a patient, criticizing the patient’s sexual orientation, making non-clinically relevant comments about potential sexual performance during an examination.”

    Jane Does accused Broadbent of violating all of these practices.

    Nielson’s letter to Gray alleged that Broadbent, among other things, used deep penetration vaginally and rough rectal examinations on patients. Patients claimed that Broadbent was so rough in his examinations that his patients were left bleeding.

    “This letter is not the right forum to delve into the individual medical history of each client that I represent. I think you get the point. Dr. Broadbent engaged in a pattern of behavior which clearly reveals an intent to obtain sexual gratification during these exams rather than an intent to gather useful clinical information about his patients. He is getting his rocks off, not looking for cancer,” Nielson wrote.

    He added that Broadbent allegedly surrendered his medical license to the State of Utah within weeks of the initial accusations.

    “Victims of sexual abuse live with the humiliation and shame of what happened to them every day. They are entitled to know that their elected representatives are not going to let Dr. Broadbent get away with this,” Nielson said. “They are entitled to know that similar behavior by other predatory healthcare providers will be deterred in the strongest possible terms. They want to know that their daughters, sisters, and friends will be protected from having to go through this in the future.”

    Nielson informed Gray that he and others intend to prosecute Broadbent to the fullest extent of civil law.

  • back to online sources list
    94 Women Allege a Utah Doctor Sexually Assaulted Them. Here’s Why a Judge Threw Out Their Case.
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: ProPublica
    Date published/accessed: 22 Feb 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2
  • back to online sources list
    Utah women among dozens appealing court’s decision regarding Provo OB-GYN lawsuit
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: ABC4
    Date published/accessed: 12 Oct 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

    PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Over 90 women are planning to appeal to the Utah Supreme Court next week over their lawsuit against a former Provo OB-GYN after a judge tossed out their complaint last year.

    Heather P. and Ashton Sorenson are two of those women.

    Heather says she met with Dr. David Broadbent for nearly 2 years, starting in 2005 when she was 20 years old and expecting her first child. She says he sexually harassed her that entire time.

    “You didn’t know what was ever going to happen,” she said. “You didn’t know what he was going to touch next or what he was going to do.”

    Sorenson says she was a student at Brigham Young University when Broadbent first treated her.

    “Honestly, it only merited a conversation, and what I got was a full body exam, no gloves,” she said. “It was very extensive and painful.”

    Along with 90-plus other women, Heather P. and Sorenson filed a lawsuit against Broadbent in 2022. The suit claims Broadbent caused his patients trauma, pain, anxiety, distress, and other emotional and physical trauma. The allegations go back to the 1980s and involve women from Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky, Idaho, Virginia, Nebraska, Maryland, Minnesota, and North Carolina.

    The 4th District Court dismissed their case, claiming it was a medical malpractice suit rather than harassment. The attorneys of the victims, however, argued that the claims “arose out of sexual abuse,” and that “sexual abuse is not health care,” according to court documents.

    Despite the case being dismissed, the court still noted in the way of analysis: “[T]he allegations paint a particularly appalling view of Dr. Broadbent and his conduct as an OB-GYN … Dr. Broadbent’s treatment of his patients is insensitive, disrespectful and degrading.”

    “It doesn’t matter how horrific the assault was or how traumatizing, the fact that it was by a doctor during a healthcare visit, in a healthcare facility, that’s what they’re going off of,” Sorenson said.

    These women are planning to appeal to the Utah Supreme Court on Oct. 20 to reinstate it.

    “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the Supreme Court, but I know that by showing up with these strong women we can at the very least heal ourselves and raise awareness to the problems,” Heather said.

    They say their hope is to stop something like this from happening to anyone else.

Videos: David Broadbent Mormon sex crime case

    • Video title: When High-Level Mormon Church Leaders Sexually Abuse: Matt and Stephanie Purcell Pt. 1 - 1520
    • Video description: Matt Purcell is the grandson of Spencer Palmer - former BYU professor of religion, mission president, temple president, LDS church area authority, personal friend of Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, and likely recipient of the top secret Mormon church Second Anointing ritual. In today's episode Matt tells his story of being one of several victims of sexual abuse by his grandfather - who served at some of the highest levels of Mormon church leadership. Matt is joined by Stephanie, his wife. Both share their Mormon stories, which include their faith journeys after discovering problematic Mormon church history. [FLOODLIT note: In this episode, starting at approximately 2:11:45, David Broadbent's alleged sexual abuse is described]

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.