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Restaurateur charged with inducing then-girlfriend to miscarry

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:56 PM EDT, Wed October 17, 2012
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

(CNN) -- 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's Rosalina Nieves and Irving Last contributed to this report.

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