The owner of a family planning clinic, already under investigation in the death of a 27-year-old pregnant patient, was charged Monday with endangering the health of another woman by performing an abortion on her without a medical license.
The Orange County district attorney’s office charged Alicia Ruiz Hanna, 31, with a felony count of unlawful abortion by administering drugs and other substances and the use of an instrument “with the intent hereby to procure the miscarriage” of the second woman, according to the complaint.
Hanna also faces a felony count alleging the “unauthorized practice of medicine creating risk to a patient” by advertising herself as practicing medicine and making diagnoses, treating and operating on the woman without having a valid license from the Medical Board of California.
Hanna also faces a misdemeanor count of practicing medicine without a license. She is scheduled to be arraigned today. Conviction on all three counts could bring a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Hanna was about to be released from Orange County Jail on Friday night after the district attorney’s office declined to file charges against her involving the death of Angela Niego Sanchez, a housecleaner from Orange.
Sanchez died after visiting Hanna’s clinic, Clinica Feminina de la Comunidad in Santa Ana.
Prosecutors said Monday that they are still awaiting the results of coroner’s toxicology tests to learn what caused Sanchez’s death.
Marshall Schulman, Hanna’s attorney, said Monday that he is angry about the way his client’s case has been handled. “She was released and immediately re-booked and charged. She never took a step outside the jail,” he said. He also contends that Hanna’s bail, set at $100,000, is “extremely high.”
Schulman, who had not seen the complaint against Hanna, said: “Her side is that she has denied everything. She will be pleading not guilty. . . . As far as I know she hasn’t performed any abortions.”
Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard M. King refused Monday to provide further details about the allegations involving the second woman, which the complaint says involve an event that occurred “on or about Sept. 26" of last year.
Felix Rodriguez, supervising investigator in Orange County for the Medical Board of California, also declined to talk about the case, other than to say that the woman in the complaint had been “reluctant to come forward,” although authorities eventually persuaded her to do so.
Hanna took out a fictitious business application on Feb. 4, 1992, for the clinic at that address under the name of C.J. Professional Management Co. On it, she described the enterprise as a limited partnership with Dr. Nicholas George Braemer of the Palos Verdes peninsula. Braemer, an obstetrician and gynecologist who now practices in Torrance, said Monday that he ran the family-planning practice at the Santa Ana clinic only “four or five months” and that he has not seen patients there since May or June.
Braemer said he had sublet space in the clinic from Hanna and that he had given the clinic the name Clinica Feminina de la Comunidad, a name he said he had registered with the Medical Board some years ago.
“When I disassociated with the clinic, I expected my name would go off the door because the name is registered to me,” Braemer said. He said he has made a formal complaint to the Medical Board about the name’s not being changed.
Braemer, who said he has no ownership or other business relationship with the clinic, said, “I was under the impression another physician would lease the place.” He said he did not know if any other physician had taken over.