Harassment prevention order taken out against Newburyport psychiatrist

BRYAN EATON/Staff file photoNewburyport psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow faces the possible extension of a harassment prevention order taken out against him in August.  

NEWBURYPORT – Former Fox News contributor and local psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow was in Newburyport District Court on Wednesday hoping a judge would not extend a harassment prevention order taken out against him by a former assistant in late August. 

The Aug. 29 order, which compels Ablow to stay at least 25 yards away from his former assistant, was set to expire Wednesday unless a judge extended it for up to a year. The same order bans him from her home, her workplace and from abusing or harassing her. 

The hearing lasted more than two hours Wednesday but was suspended about 4:30 p.m. by Judge Allen Swan, who ordered it continued until today at 9:30 a.m. Until Swan rules, the harassment prevention order remains in place. 

During the former assistant's testimony, she painted a portrait of the nationally known doctor, saying he sexually harassed her at work. She testified that he repeatedly crossed her "physical boundaries" and at one point touched her buttocks. 

"Leave me alone, do not come into my personal space," she said on the witness stand. 

She quit her job in July 2015 after working for Ablow for 14 months. But the woman said it was the testimony she gave in February regarding civil lawsuits filed by four former patients that eventually resulted in her seeking the harassment prevention order.

The former assistant claims Ablow would repeatedly spot her walking on Green Street and follow her in his car. She also said there was an instance when he waited for her in his car to leave a downtown pet store and then sped out of the parking lot in an alleged attempt to intimidate her. 

Court records show that a week after the original order was issued, it was extended Sept. 5 for an additional two weeks by agreement. 

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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