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Virginia pediatrician is accused in lawsuit of sexually assaulting a mother during her baby's exam

Dr. Martin Seth Forman was previously accused by two female patients in civil lawsuits of sexual abuse, and he was hit with a $1.3 million civil verdict in one of the cases.
The building in Lansdowne, Va., where Reston Pediatrics is located.
The building in Lansdowne, Va., where Reston Pediatrics is located.Shuran Huang for NBC News

A Virginia pediatrician who has been accused by two teenage patients in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing them during medical examinations is being sued again, this time by a mom who says the doctor assaulted her as she held her baby boy.

The mom says in a recently filed civil lawsuit that Dr. Martin Seth Forman was “pretending” to examine her son’s ears when the incident allegedly happened on Jan. 27 at his private practice in Lansdowne, Virginia.

Forman, according to the complaint filed Friday, “straddled the plaintiff’s legs and began rubbing his penis against her while examining the child’s ears.” As the examination went on he continued to grind against the woman, the court documents said.

Forman also committed simple battery by touching her breasts, the mother alleges in the civil lawsuit, filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court.

Dr. Martin Seth Forman.
Dr. Martin Seth Forman.Reston Pediatrics via Facebook

It is the third civil lawsuit accusing Forman, a 70-year-old board-certified pediatrician, of preying on women while performing medical examinations.

The alleged assault happened six months after Forman and Reston Pediatrics were hit with a $1.3 million civil verdict for barging into the home of a 15-year-old patient under the guise of making an unscheduled “house call” and allegedly fondling the girl’s breasts. A circuit court judge later dismissed an appeal by the defendants.

The mother, who is not identified by name in the court papers, has accused Forman of sexual battery and is seeking $2 million in damages.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, the mother said she had taken her other children to the clinic before for checkups and had never had an encounter like the one described in the lawsuit with Forman.

"This was very disturbing," she said.

Reston Pediatrics, where Forman is a founding partner and still works, is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit because it “had actual knowledge of Forman’s propensity to commit acts of sexual battery against women and young girls.”

Forman and the clinic are also being sued for $8.7 million by the parents of another female patient for allegedly touching her breasts and rubbing himself against her earlier this year while performing a lymph node examination her parents claim was unnecessary.

When NBC News first reported on allegations against Forman last month, Jacob Pierce, the attorney for both the doctor and his clinic, released the following statement:

“Dr. Forman and Reston Pediatrics categorically deny all the allegations made against each of them. Given that this case is currently in pending litigation, we do not have any further comment at this time.”

Forman is now being represented by Coreen Silverman who said, “This is all about money.”

“This a public campaign to destroy a good man’s name,” Silverman said Tuesday in a telephone interview.

A representative for the clinic did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment about the third lawsuit.

Pierce did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the third lawsuit against Forman.

Forman has never been charged with a crime. He has been in private practice since 1984, according to a Reston Pediatrics Facebook posting from 2016. He holds a license to practice medicine in Virginia that is valid until Oct. 31, 2024, records show.

The mom said that she reported the alleged incident to the Virginia State Police but that the two special agents who questioned her treated her more like a suspect than a victim.

“It was very much like a good-cop, bad-cop scenario,” she said.

One of them warned her “we get a lot of false reports and there could be consequences,” she said.

The other, she said, “seemed more sensitive.”

Jim Magner, who represents all of Forman’s accusers, said the agency chose not to investigate her allegations.

“I don’t know why,” the mom said when asked.

NBC News asked the state police Monday and Tuesday for comment about the Forman investigation and one of the special agents directly on Tuesday.

When Forman was accused of inappropriately touching the first teenager in 2017, the state Department of Health Professions, which regulates doctors, declined to discipline Forman. It also declined to comment on whether it would move to lift his license after Forman was hit with a second civil lawsuit.

Asked whether the DHP was investigating Forman now that a third woman has accused him of abuse, a spokesperson, Diane Powers, said by email: “The Board cannot comment on a specific licensee or allegation, nor can the Board confirm or deny receipt of a complaint or the existence of an investigation as such information is confidential pursuant to Virginia law.”