Restaurateur charged with inducing then-girlfriend to miscarry

Story highlights

  • Joshua Woodward pleaded not guilty on Wednesday
  • He is accused of using drug to induce a miscarriage in his then-girlfriend
  • Bail was initially set at $4 million, with a hearing scheduled for Thursday

Prosecutors have charged a restaurateur with attempted murder for allegedly trying to induce his then-girlfriend to miscarry, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said Wednesday.

Joshua Woodward, 40, pleaded not guilty to four counts of attempted, willful and premeditated murder. Prosecutors say Woodward used the drug misoprostol on four occasions in fall 2009 to induce his then-girlfriend to miscarry.

Woodward's attorney said his client had nothing to do with the woman's miscarriage.

"The evidence presented against Mr. Woodward is so weak and virtually non-existent. I am sure we will be able to prove Mr. Woodward's innocence," Mark Werksman said in a written statement.

A judge set bail at $4 million, a news release from the district attorney's office said.

Woodward, who lives in Florida, is scheduled for a bail review hearing on Thursday afternoon.

According to the National Institutes of Health, misoprostol is used to treat ulcers or to induce labor. It can also be combined with mifepristone to end a pregnancy in its early stages, the agency's website says.

Woodward faces up to life in prison, prosecutors said.

He was co-owner of restaurants in Los Angeles and Miami Beach that have since closed.

More from CNN Justice:

Police: 7 children lived in home strip club

Man arrested in plot to blow up NYC Federal Reserve

Violent crime up in U.S. for first time in years

2 U.S. sailors arrested in Japan over rape allegations

      CNN Recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.