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Story Besmirches a Dedicated Physician

October 23, 1994

I am writing to register my complete disgust with your article "Patient Says Physician Sexually Abused Her" (Oct. 7). You managed to devote almost 20 column inches for a non-story that is just a series of allegations. How do you determine the size of this type of an article--five inches if it was a nurse, 10 inches if it was a doctor, 20 inches if you are a pillar of the community? Is this a new philosophy of the L.A. Times--the more you have done for the community, the bigger the smear?

Don't you get it? This is how people create lawsuits. If this person can get any official agency to cast doubt on what happened, then the attorneys will appear and the insurance company will settle.

You are capable of much better than this. Shame on you.

STUART E. SIEGAL

Hidden Hills

Siegal is a member of the Hidden Hills City Council.

* This letter addresses your article on the sexual abuse allegations against Dr. Brian Herdeg.

It is damaging to a gentleman that has been both a dedicated physician and a hard-working member of his community for many years.

Dr. Herdeg will be forever besmirched due to your article, even if he is found innocent or the woman drops the charges today.

I realize you have an obligation to report the news, and that maybe the law is at fault.

The woman's identity is shielded by the law, when it is by no means proved that she is telling the truth. Why isn't the doctor entitled to the same anonymity until his innocence or guilt is established?

KARYN FOLEY

Calabasas

Foley is the mayor of Calabasas.

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