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L.A. County health inspector accused of sexually assaulting business owner [Updated]

April 6, 2010 |  5:45 pm

A Los Angeles County health inspector has been placed on leave while officials and police investigate allegations that he was caught on tape sexually assaulting a Pomona business owner during an inspection last month.

Magdy Tawadros, an environmental health specialist with the county’s Department of Public Health, is accused of groping a 45-year-old business owner at her doughnut shop March 24, according to a claim the woman filed against the county April 1.

The victim, who asked not to be identified, claims Tawadros assaulted her several times in a storage room while her husband was picking up their two children. She resisted, despite fears the inspector would give her shop a bad grade, according to the claim.

“It wasn’t anything that was wanted or desired,” said the woman’s lawyer, Timothy McDonough.

A security camera in the storage room recorded the assaults, and the victim supplied a copy of the footage to the county with her claim, McDonough said.

Tawadros gave the shop a 91% approval rating after the inspection, records show.

The inspector was placed on unpaid leave Monday based on a “preliminary, internal investigation,” according to a statement released by public health officials Tuesday. “If the allegations are proved to be correct, we will take swift and decisive action,” the statement said.

Tawadros was licensed by the state last July and has worked for the county for about six months, McDonough said.

The victim reported the incident to Pomona police March 29, and they were still investigating Tuesday, said Sgt. Horace Blehr.

[Updated, 9:25 p.m.: Tawadros is 50 years old. Pomona police said late Tuesday that criminal charges are expected.]

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske