An Italian gynaecologist dubbed 'Dr Magic Flute' has been arrested on allegations of aggravated sexual violence against two women.
Dr Giovanni Miniello resigned from his job following an undercover investigation that caught him half-naked in a hotel room after telling a woman he could ‘cure’ her of the cancer-causing human papillomavirus virus (HPV) by having sex with her.
Miriello, 68, was exposed by journalists from the Italian TV show Le Lene, with the 33-year-old woman who had gone to him about her fertility issues.
However, she claims that the doctor had been unprofessional from the outset and had touched her breasts without any explanation and reportedly told her he liked women with small breasts, she informed La Repubblica.
After some tests, he allegedly suggested that she had indications of human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually-transmitted DNA virus that can go on to cause cancer, despite a negative result after a smear test.
But he reportedly told the woman: "I have saved many women from cancer. All those I have had contact with were negative afterwards."
The woman grew suspicious and contacted journalists to investigate – leading to them to send in an actress to gather evidence.
Following the investigation, Miniello is reported to have said through his lawyer: "I, who have successfully treated hundreds of women for over 40 years… only proposed an alternative treatment that has yielded results.”
He also added that he had never coerced the women to have sex with him and always gave them "absolute freedom of choice".
Marika Massara, the coordinator for the Anti-Violence Centre in Bari, said: "We have received several reports in the last few days, dozens.
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"Women who have come together and gone through a similar situation. Some consider reporting it, others are afraid, also because the level of secondary victimisation we are witnessing is very high."
The public prosecutor in Bari also opened an investigation and the doctor has now been arrested and placed under house arrest.
Since the investigation, 15 other women have come forward claiming they were victims.
The two incidents being investigated allegedly took place in September 2019 and in June 2021, and both were reported by the alleged victims a few months later.
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