[UPDATED: Freed by Mexican Authorities] Ricardo Asch, Doctor Who Stole Eggs and Embryos From UC Irvine Fertility Clinic Arrested In Mexico City

​UPDATED, March 24, 3:49 P.M.: Ricardo Asch has been freed from custody in Mexico City, where he was being held for extradition to the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports. His whereabouts are unknown. U.S. officials do not know why he was released and are seeking an explanation from Mexican authorities.   

ORIGINAL POST, Dec. 27, 2010, 6:25 P.M.:

 A doctor who stole eggs and embryos from UC Irvine's Center for Reproductive Health, giving them to other women,

has been arrested

in Mexico City, the

Los Angeles Times

reports. 

Ricardo Asch was the star of a 1990s fertility scandal, when he and a partner, Jose Balmaceda, would use eggs from the center to help infertile women bear children. He fled the country to avoid prosecution and has been listed as a wanted fugitive for years.


At least 15 babies were born through the illegal egg transfers.

American officials have until Jan. 3 to complete the extradition paperwork. If the extradition request is approved, Asch could be returned to U.S. soil sometime next year.

Asch has long maintained his innocence, telling a Mexico City newspaper in 2000 that others were trying to destroy his reputation due to "professional jealousy or envy" and because he is a "supersuccessful foreigner." 


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