A wealthy restaurateur plead not guilty yesterday to four counts of attempted murder after police said he tried to cause his pregnant girlfriend to miscarry their child by poisoning her with a substance known to induce abortion.
Joshua Woodward, 40, who at one time was a prominent restaurateur with eateries in New York City and Los Angeles, was held on $4 million dollar bail following his plea.
Prosecutors say he used misoprostol, a drug known to induce labor or cause early-stage abortions, to terminate his girlfriend's pregnancy in the fall of 2009.
Woodward, who once co-owned Manhattan's exclusive Table 8 restaurant and the 8oz. Burger Bar restaurants in Miami and Los Angeles, turned himself in on Wednesday, nearly three years after the allegations first surfaced.
Woodward's then girlfriend contacted the LAPD after she discovered a mysterious white powder in her underwear in the fall of 2009 after a liaison with Woodward. She then described the circumstances of their relationship.
She said that from the beginning she planned to keep the child but Woodward was adamant about terminating the pregnancy.
According to the affidavit obtained by the New York Daily News, the pregnancy caused a 'bitter' breakup of the pair. However, Woodward eventually told the unidentified woman, now 42, that he wanted to be involved and the pair reunited.
His then girlfriend told police and prosecutors after they rekindled their relationship, Woodward would often dip his hand into his backpack or pocket before touching her intimately.
A few hours after an encounter on October 18, 2009, she suffered severe cramping and miscarried. She later noticed a suspicious white powder substance on her underwear and contacted police. They identified the substance as misoprostol.
Misoprostol was initially FDA approved for the prevention and treatment of ulcers, but can also be used to induce labor or miscarriages of early-term pregnancies.
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