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RAPE CHARGE AGAINST DOCTOR IN W. JORDAN IS DISMISSED

A felony rape charge against West Jordan physician Robert C. Davis was dismissed in a preliminary hearing Thursday by 3rd Circuit Judge Maurice Jones.

Glenn Iwasaki, deputy Salt Lake County attorney, asked the judge to dismiss the case. The county attorney's office filed the rape charge, a first-degree felony, on March 13.Davis, 36, owner of the Family Medical Center, 1519 W. 9000 South, was charged with the rape of Judy Markward. Markward, a medical software saleswoman, said that Davis raped her Oct. 1, 1987.

Markward, in a phone interview Thursday with the Deseret News, declined comment on the judge's ruling.

Peter Stirba, Davis' attorney, said justice was done in this case, as his client had passed two lie-detector tests. Stirba wouldn't say which side requested the tests be performed. "I think the county attorney's decision was totally appropriate.

"He (Davis) passed two polygraphs administered by two of the top law enforcement polygraphers in the state."

Bud Ellett, chief deputy for the Salt Lake County Attorney's Office, said the case was dismissed because of insufficient evidence.

At the time the rape complaint was filed, Davis' attorney said his client vigorously denied the charges. Stirba said the alleged incident was 3 years old, and questioned the motive of the county attorney's office for filing it in 1990.

Ellett said more information was uncovered after the charges were filed. "We had some additional investigation that indicated to us that we did not have sufficient evidence to proceed in the case," he said.

Last December, officials of the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing handed down a 65-page, 155-count petition which said Davis overcharged patients and insurance companies, acted in a sexually inappropriate manner with patients and staff and overprescribed addictive drugs. A licensing hearing is tentatively scheduled for October.

State officials are temporarily barred from proceeding with discovery in the licensing case, based on a decision issued by administrative law Judge J. Steven Eklund. Eklund issued the stay to avoid compromising other legal proceedings, including the rape complaint. But Melissa Hubbell, an assistant attorney general, said she hadn't decided if Thursday's action would cause her to file a motion lifting the legal stay.

"I haven't made up my mind," she said. "I've got to think about that simply because I don't know if it would make a difference to the administrative (law) judge if we did."

Stirba, in a response filed with the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, said the bulk of complaints against Davis were made by patients who are in arrears on their bills. He characterized the licensing petition as a "billing dispute," and charges that the document "contains dozens of statements that are patently false and totally unsubstantiated."