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Published: Monday, 8/29/2011

Michigan doctor freed from prison after woman recorded admitting she lied about sexual assault

ASSOCIATED PRESS
In a Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 photo, Doctor Labeed Nouri, 40, and his wife Rouwaida Nouri, 38, with their children Hakam, 15, left, Jacob,7, Maria,4, and Sami,12, in their Sterling Heights home. Nouri, an orthopedic surgeon, went to prison for three years after an office aide he hired just four days before accused him of sexually assaulting her. She was later caught on tape admitting she liedon the stand. Nouri has regained his medical license. In a Monday, Aug. 8, 2011 photo, Doctor Labeed Nouri, 40, and his wife Rouwaida Nouri, 38, with their children Hakam, 15, left, Jacob,7, Maria,4, and Sami,12, in their Sterling Heights home. Nouri, an orthopedic surgeon, went to prison for three years after an office aide he hired just four days before accused him of sexually assaulting her. She was later caught on tape admitting she liedon the stand. Nouri has regained his medical license.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

HAZEL PARK, Mich.  — A Detroit-area doctor who spent more than three years behind bars has been released from prison after a woman who accused him of sexual assault was secretly recorded admitting she had lied.

Dr. Labeed Nouri was assisted by the woman's former boyfriend, who agreed to record conversations with her.

Nouri told the Detroit Free Press that he wants the woman charged with perjury.

"She took three years from me," said Nouri, who was released in April. "I can never get them back. My youngest daughter was a baby when I went away. I never saw her first step, heard her say her first word. It's my turn for justice."

Nouri, 40, was accused of using his hands to sexually assault a 19-year-old woman who worked in his Hazel Park office in 2007. Defense lawyers believed she had concocted the story because she had been sexually active and was trying to cover up a lack of virginity.

The woman was from a conservative Chaldean Catholic family. Sometimes women in that faith are examined before marriage to verify their virginity.

The Oakland County jury convicted Nouri in 2008 and he was sentenced last year to at least 10 years in prison. The Free Press said he also spent 700 days in jail awaiting trial or trying to get his conviction overturned.

Nouri's attorney, Mark Kriger, later learned the woman's former boyfriend apparently had regrets about the trial after he saw the doctor's wife and family. In March, the man agreed to record conversations with the woman, who admitted on the recordings she had lied but proposed a further cover-up.

Kriger took the recording to prosecutors who agreed to have the conviction thrown out if the doctor agreed to plead no contest to misdemeanor assault, an offense that would be expunged after five years.

"I'm thinking, 'No, I didn't do anything,'" Nouri said. "But then I think, 'I take this and I can see my kids in a day or two.' I hadn't seen them in three years. I took it."

The woman, through her attorney, Edward Bajoka, declined to be interviewed by the Free Press. Bajoka declined to discuss allegations of perjury.

"She does maintain that she was sexually assaulted," he said.

Separately, a priest who knows the woman is denying that he signed a letter urging the judge to impose a tough sentence on the doctor.

"I have never written any letter," the Rev. Zuhair Kejbou of St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy told the Free Press. "Anybody can forge a signature."

Kriger called the letter a "fraud and an obstruction of justice" by the woman.

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said she is awaiting police reports before deciding whether to file charges against the woman, who has become a nurse.



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