A former Manhattan restaurant owner accused of slipping his girlfriend an abortion drug during foreplay searched online for "evil ways" to terminate a pregnancy and tips on using chloroform around the time of her miscarriage, prosecutors claim.
Joshua Woodward, 40, conducted the searches in late 2009 after he unsuccessfully "begged" the girlfriend, now 42, to have an abortion, authorities said Thursday.
Bent on imposing "his will," he secretly gave the girlfriend the early-term abortion drug misoprostol three times without her knowledge, once orally and twice vaginally, prosecutors allege.
She miscarried the fetus during her 13th week of gestation on October 18, 2009, about 15 hours after Woodward allegedly dipped his hand into a backpack during a sexual encounter at her Los Angeles residence and applied the drug without her consent, a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Daily News states.
A partner in the Table 8 restaurant chain that graced the Cooper Square Hotel before it became the Standard Hotel East Village, Woodward has pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted murder and was released late Thursday on $4 million bail.
"The evidence against him is weak and speculative at best. It's a mystery to us why they're charging this now. Nothing has changed over the three years since he originally was arrested," Woodward's lawyer Mark Werksman told The News.
"The evidence doesn't justify or warrant prosecution," Werksman said. "Josh Woodward is innocent of these charges."
Prosecutors say a forensic analysis of Woodward's Internet search history has corroborated claims by the girlfriend to police.
They say that in late August 2009, Woodward typed into his Internet search engine the following phrases: "ways men have forced abortions," "drugs that induce miscariages (sic)," and "evil ways to terminate a pregnancy."
Authorities claim he also searched online for ways to obtain misoprostol without a prescription on the black market.
In early September or October, Woodward allegedly slipped the drug into one of his girlfriend's drinks, causing her to become violently ill with nausea and diarrhea but failing to end the pregnancy, according to a court filing by the Los Angeles District Attorney.
On Oct. 11, Woodward allegedly conducted further online research on "how to insert (the drug) vaginally," prosecutors claim.
A few days later on Oct. 17, Woodward applied the drug during foreplay, and the girlfriend again suffered symptoms of exposure but did not miscarry, authorities say.
The restaurant owner, now a Florida resident, then conducted further Internet research on the drug's detectability in the bloodstream and applied it again Oct. 18, hours before the miscarriage, prosecutors allege.