Brookline man accused of secretly dosing pregnant ex-girlfriend with drug to cause her to miscarry

WALTHAM, Mass. — A Brookline man is accused of giving his pregnant ex-girlfriend an abortifacient -- while telling her it was iron -- to end her pregnancy, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced.

Robert Kawada, 43, of Brookline was arraigned in Waltham District Court Tuesday on charges of poisoning with intent to kill or injure, as well as assault and battery charges. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail with restrictions on contact and travel.

“On multiple occasions, the victim would experience pain, cramping and vaginal discharges, which concerned her,” said Middlesex County Prosecutor Jacob McCrindle.

Authorities believe those side effects were the result of Misoprostol ingestion. The drug, a synthetic prostaglandin, is commonly used for medicinal abortions -- sometimes alone, but also with Mifepristone, a progesterone blocker. Given alone, Misoprostol is less effective. And initially, the ‘iron’ tablets did not induce abortion, officials said.

“The victim subsequently went to a medical appointment for the pregnancy, where doctors informed her the heartbeat was strong and stable and nothing to worry about,” McCrindle said.

According to prosecutors, the victim stated she received a call from a phone number which was purportedly from a nurse for her medical provider.

That ‘nurse’ informed the victim that her blood work revealed Iron Deficiency Anemia -- a common problem during pregnancy. She prescribed iron tablets and gave detailed instructions on how to take them, McCrindle said.

That call was followed by a visit from Kawada.

“The victim explained the call with the nurse to the defendant,” said McCrindle. “He then informed her to take iron pills which he happened to have on him.”

It’s unknown how many ‘iron’ pills the victim took at that point, but she said Kawada instructed her to take the tablets buccally -- that is, allowing them to dissolve between the jaw and the cheek. When Misoprostol is administered this way, blood levels rise slowly -- keeping side effects to a minimum. However, this route produces powerful contractions in the uterus.

While Kawada was there, that same ‘nurse’ called back and told the victim to take two more tablets, McCrindle said.

That night, the victim suffered serious cramping and chills. And she miscarried. She called the police after consulting with family members and gave them one of the tablets Kawada claimed was iron.

Kawada told police he had given his ex-girlfriend nutritional tablets he ordered from Amazon, but then they reviewed his cellphone. Court documents suggest Kawada made some incriminating phone calls -- including to that ‘nurse.’ He also conducted a dozen Internet searches possibly relevant to the case -- including several about the effects of misoprostol.

Kawada’s attorney refused to comment on the case. His family also had no comment.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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