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Orthodontist Says Fondness for Fondling Patients is a Disability

July 14, 1994

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ An orthodontist who lost his license because he fondled a teen-age patient is seeking nearly $1 million in disability benefits for the mental illness he says made him do it.

Warren S. Graboyes, nick-named ″Dr. Touchy″ by some patients, says the mental illness cost him his career. His insurance company agrees he shouldn’t be practicing dentistry, but disputes his disability claim.

Trial testimony began Wednesday in federal court, where Graboyes took the witness stand and admitted molesting between 100 and 200 female patients in his 20 years in practice.

His license was revoked by the state Board of Dentistry after his 1991 conviction. He is suing the General American Life Insurance Co. of St. Louis for nearly $1 million on a disability-income insurance policy.

Graboyes, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault and corruption of a minor and was placed on probation for four years. He also spent a month in a hospital for sex offenders.

During his trial, a psychiatry professor testified Graboyes suffered from frotteurism, which is defined as recurrent sexual urges and fantasies involving touching and rubbing against a non-consenting person.

Graboyes’s lawsuit, filed in April 1992, seeks $5,000 a month for life plus $50,000 in compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees.

″Obviously, a doctor who is going to molest his young female patients should not practice; but that does not mean such a doctor is disabled,″ the insurance company’s attorneys, Arthur H. Rainey and Robert C. Clothier, wrote in papers filed with the judge.

General American initially paid Graboyes $10,000 in disability benefits, then demanded that he return the money, claiming he lost his license because he’s a convicted criminal, not because he’s sick. The dentistry board revoked his license because of his conviction. Graboyes cannot practice for five years, after which he may seek reinstatement.

Before Graboyes’ arrest, some of his young female patients referred to him as ″Dr. Touchy,″ according to court documents.