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Irish High Court to rule on extradition of fugitive St. Petersburg doctor

A judge in Ireland said this week that he will rule Jan. 21 whether to extradite a St. Petersburg doctor to the United States to stand trial on charges he molested two girls, authorities said.

Dr. Rory P. Doyle was arrested in Pinellas County in July 2000 on two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. While free on $100,000 bail, he disappeared just before his November 2001 trial.

He turned up seven years later in Ireland, when authorities there discovered he was practicing medicine as Dr. David West. Local authorities haven't said how Doyle, 54, escaped to Ireland. It's unclear if he surrendered his passport when he posted bail.

His real name and legal troubles back in Florida didn't come to light in Ireland until October 2008, according to news reports, when a patient complained about an inappropriate relationship with the doctor.

A two-day extradition hearing was held Monday and Tuesday. A ruling is expected in January.

The Department of Justice informed the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office of the latest development. A Justice Department spokeswoman said the agency does not comment on extradition cases until a defendant is on U.S. soil.

Though the case is nearly a decade old, prosecutors said they'll be ready to try Doyle whenever he's returned to Florida.

"The witnesses are still here, and still ready to testify against him," said Assistant State Attorney Jim Hellickson. "It should be ready to go to trial when he's here."

While the judge decides, Doyle remains free on bail in Ireland. His family put up 100,000 euros, according to news accounts, but the doctor had to hand over his passport.

Doyle is accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl while she slept at his home in 1995, and molesting an 8-year-old girl in 2000. Doyle pleaded not guilty to the charges in Pinellas circuit court and has denied the allegations to the Irish High Court.

If convicted, Doyle faces up to 65 years in prison.

In November both victims, now adults, filed a civil suit against Doyle in Pinellas circuit court. They are seeking damages and accused the doctor of trying to hide his assets and money in the United States by transferring them to a relative.

Irish High Court to rule on extradition of fugitive St. Petersburg doctor 12/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 11:34pm]
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