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Hackensack physician who violated patient enters pre-trial intervention

Photo Credit: Adam Goldfarb, left, with defense attorney Anne G. Cominsky (STORY / PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

NOWHERE BUT CLIFFVIEW PILOT: The young mother of a premature girl thought Hackensack internist Adam Goldfarb was a good choice when she got lightheaded and felt tightness in her chest – until he supplemented an EKG with an unexpected pelvic exam.

“Dr. Goldfarb, it’s been 2½ years since you destroyed my life forever, the most horrible experience of my life,” she told him in Superior Court in Hackensack yesterday. “I trusted you, I thought I could confide in you. But in one moment you took that away from me.

“You violated more than a woman,” she said. “You violated a sacred trust between a patient and her doctor.”

Goldfarb tried to apologize for his misbehavior, but that only made her angry.

“If you made me UNCOMFORTABLE?” she said. “You know your acts were wildly inappropriate, and in no way does this apology reflect the impact you had on my life and the life of my family.

“You were not my, or any other person’s, gynecologist.”

The victim spoke during a court hearing in which a judge approved Goldfarb’s application for Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) — rather than plead guilty or face trial on the charges – over the objection of the program’s director.

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Kristin DeMarco said her office agreed to the arrangement provided Goldfarb remain under strict supervision and continuous monitoring by the New Jersey State Medical Board for two years.

If Goldfarb goes a year without getting into any trouble – or no other victims come forward — his record will be wiped clean.

However, for at least the next five years, he must have a chaperone in exam rooms with all female patients at all times.

He also has to foot the bill for the monitoring, under a consent agreement with the prosecutor’s office that was approved by Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi.

As part of the agreement, Goldfarb read a letter to the victim. In it, he said: “I apologize for making you feel uncomfortable.”

She said things went way beyond that.

“My daughter was four months old at the time, this most precious time that I should have been devoting to her and her care – and this whole time I have been dealing with prosecutors, appointments – it was stolen from me,” she said.

The woman said she was so upset that she immediately called her husband from her car after the exam. It took her a long time to be able to see another physician, she said, and she now has a hard time trusting men.

The victim visited Goldfarb in late December 2010, according to a letter from the county PTI director that was read in court.

“He came into the examining room and asked her questions about her newborn, and about sex – which she thought was strange,” it says. “He asked her other questions she found inappropriate – unrelated – was she experiencing pain during intercourse and whether she had any strange discharge.

“She told him, ‘Nothing out of the ordinary.’

“He told her he needed to perform a gynecological exam, told her to pull her pants down and gave her a paper drape.  There were no stirrups on the table,” the letter reads. “He stood on the right side of the table, inserted two fingers into her vagina and rubbed her clitoris with his thumb.”

The letter advises against admitting Goldfarb to the PTI program, saying that “the needs and interests of the victim and/or society would not be met.”

“The PTI Program is primarily designed for non-violent offenders of victimless crimes, and based on the facts of this case, this offense can hardly be considered a victimless crime,” it explains.

Goldfarb was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault when  he was arrested on a grand jury indictment. He applied for pre-trial intervention in January.

“This will not give me back the last couple of years,” the victim told him in court. “You can’t restore what you violated.

“But perhaps it will keep you from doing it to another woman.”

ABOVE PHOTO: Adam Goldfarb, left, with defense attorney Anne G. Cominsky (STORY / PHOTO: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)

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