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8 new victims come forward against Yuma doctor facing sex abuse charges


By Alexandra Rangel - AZ Family News - 13.03.2024 - [USA] - [Edsel Sandoval] Eight new victims have come forward in the case against 36-year-old Dr. Edsel Sandoval, a family medical doctor in Yuma.

Sandoval was arrested in February after three patients accused him of sexual abuse and sexual assault. He’s out on a $500,000 bond and was present Tuesday for a court appearance at the Yuma County Superior Court.

At his first court appearance, he pleads not guilty to all seven counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse.

The Yuma Police Department said more charges could be added as more victims have come forward. “When each victim comes forward that number will climb as far as sending these charges to the county attorney to be added on,” said Lori Franklin, Yuma Police Department Public Information Officer.

According to court documents, the alleged abuse happened from April 2022 to March of last year. The three victims in the court filing are all women ages 20-43 years old.

The indictment states Sandoval intentionally and knowingly engaged in sexual contact, sexual intercourse or oral sexual conduct without the consent of the victim. Sandavol was arrested in February at Sunset Health, a medical clinic in Yuma where he has been practicing medicine for the past five months.

Before that, Sandoval was employed by the Yuma Regional Medical Center. That’s according to a social media post from a year ago where he was recognized as a healthcare hero.

Arizona’s Family contacted both clinics for comment but received no response. The state medical board says his license is active.

As YPD continues to investigate the case, they’re encouraging any potential abuse survivors to come forward. “If he did anything he should not have done, please call us. Be that strong person because justice needs to be done,” said Franklin.

Franklin also said survivors could also reach out to Amberly’s Place, Yuma’s family advocacy center. “If you’re not ready to come forward, go to Amberly’s Place, they will help you and come forward when you’re ready to come forward,” Franklin said. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Dignity4Patients, whose helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm.

 
 

Dignity4Patients Commentary: Not all victims who have experienced sexual abuse or assault will respond in the same manner. Various factors, including the trauma of the event and personal circumstances, may cause delays in victims coming forward. It is commendable to observe a trauma-informed approach that allows potential survivors the necessary time to speak out and supports victims in seeking justice.

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