Retired Fertility Doctor Who Allegedly Used Own Sperm For Impregnation Was LDS Church Temple, Mission Leader

Rhett Wilkinson

Sally Ashby didn't understand why her fertility doctor would cry after learning that Ashby and her family were relocating out of state.

Now Ashby has indicated that she gets it, filing a lawsuit years later claiming that the doctor, Gerald Mortimer, utilized his own sperm to inseminate Ashby for a practice in medical fertility care that resulted in a child, according to CNN.

As Fox 13 reported, Mortimer was the president of the LDS church's Cebu City, Philippines temple. He also held other leadership positions as the president of the Philippines, San Pablo Mission and a stake president and bishop. He was also a bishop's counselor and Young Men president, according to a piece in LDS Church News archives.

As of Oct. 2009, Mortimer was the medical adviser for the Idaho Pocatello and Idaho Boise missions and a Sunday School teacher and administrator of temple sacraments, according to the Church News article.

Being president of LDS temples and missions means that one holds some of the highest-ranking positions in the church. The positions of bishop and stake president put one over a congregation and several congregations. Temple worship occurs in private.

Rowlette, Ashby, her daughter Kelli Rowlette and ex-husband Howard Fowler sued Friday against Mortimer, his wife, and Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates of Idaho Falls, where Mortimer worked. They have made claims of fraud, breach of contract, battery, failure to obtain informed consent, medical negligence and emotional distress, according to CNN.

"While the family understands the public's interest in their story, they ask that their privacy be respected as they focus on the difficult process of healing from this trauma," Shea Meehan, the family attorney, wrote.

Mortimer could not be reached for comment; the Clerk of Courts does not show a defense attorney for he and his wife, CNN reported.

Rowlette, Ashby, and Fowler's lawsuit state that they want more than $75,000, in addition to reasonable attorney fees, disbursements, interest, costs, and disbursements, according to CNN.

This wouldn't be the first time

People have claimed in the past that a man doctor has utilized his own sperm with medical fertility care, CNN reported.

A doctor utilized his own sperm to impregnate women, fooling additional folks into a false assumption that they were going to have a baby, according to a wire article in The New York Times. A judge said the man, Cecil Jacobson, needed to spend five years in jail and provide $116,805 in restitution and fines, according to CNN.

The same claims were made in Sept. 2016 by another daughter of one of a doctor's woman patients. The man, Donald Cline, was handed a one-year suspended sentence; the Chicago Tribune reported that he pled guilty to two charges of obstruction of justice, CNN reported.

According to the World Health Organization, problems having to do with fertility impact a proportion of the world's population that isn't necessarily small, according to CNN.

Approximately six percent of American married women between 15 and 44 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cannot get pregnant following a year's effort, CNN reported.