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New York Neurologist Guilty on 12 Counts of Sexually Abusing Patients

New York Neurologist Guilty on 12 Counts of Sexually Abusing Patients

A once prominent New York City Neurologist was recently found guilty on charges of sexually abusing patients at a Manhattan medical center while treating them with pain medications.

Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, 68, was convicted on 12 criminal counts, which include one count of predatory sexual assault, one count of attempted rape, one count of sex abuse, two counts of rape, and seven more counts of criminal sexual acts.

Six former patients testified that the sexual abuse happened behind closed doors during their appointments. It was alleged that Dr. Cruciani groomed patients using pain medications, as many of his patients struggled with severe pain due to serious injuries from car wrecks and other accidents.

Cruciani is said to have overprescribed pain medication and then withheld it until they performed sexual acts. One witness stated, “He didn’t finish writing my prescriptions until I did something for him.”

Prosecutors in the case called the behavior pure evil and said, “This defendant is nothing but a drug dealer who used his prescription pad as a weapon.”

Cruciani is still facing federal charges accusing him of abusing multiple patients over 15 years at his offices in New York City, Philadelphia, and Hopewell, New Jersey.

The federal charges and state trial follow years of public complaints by Cruciani’s accusers that authorities in some places were not taking his crimes seriously, particularly in Philadelphia, where he pleaded guilty to relatively minor misdemeanor groping counts involving seven patients.

What is Considered Sexual Abuse by a Doctor?

Sexual assault is when someone else touches another person’s intimate parts against the individual’s will or while restrained for sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse. Sexual assault by a doctor is a form of medical malpractice because the medical provider violates the law, physician’s Code of Ethics, and the Hippocratic Oath.

If you are unsure if your healthcare provider has sexually assaulted you, it may help if you understand how these crimes are committed.

There have been well-publicized cases against healthcare professionals that involve rape, but any unwanted, non-consensual sexual act such as touching, kissing, touching of sex organs, and others are all considered criminal conduct.

Other ways medical professionals carry out sexual abuse on patients include:

  • Committing sexual abuse on patients while they are under anesthesia or strong sedation
  • Engaging in self-pleasure and touching themselves in front of a patient
  • Using chemical or physical restraint to keep a patient from moving then groping or touching them inappropriately
  • Performing unwanted or unwarranted physicals of genitals or breasts
  • Directing patients to unnecessarily disrobe and taking photos or videos of patient genitals or breasts during a physical exam
  • Exposing themselves to patients

Medical professionals have also groomed patients with inappropriate verbal comments, contact, and touching, eventually leading to more severe forms of abuse. Some doctors have even used medication to abuse patients. This is done by promising medication or overprescribing it, then withholding the medication and forcing the patients into a sexual relationship or act with the healthcare provider.

Your Rights in a Doctor’s Office

When you see a medical professional for an exam, procedure, or treatment, you should expect to:

  • End the exam at any time. If you feel uncomfortable during the exam, you can inform the person, and they should stop the exam immediately.
  • Ask to have someone in the room. If you are having an exam or seeing a doctor, you can have someone else in the room with you, including a nurse, friend, or family member.
  • Have adequate privacy. An exam room should have privacy, such as a curtain if it is not in a private room. You should always have a private place to change at a doctor’s office.
  • Undress to your comfort. When you are getting an exam done, you should only have to undress the parts of the body to be examined. During a breast exam, you should be given a gown that can cover you until the exam begins, but you should be able to remain in underwear and shorts under the gown. It should only be removed during the actual exam and then immediately replaced while you discuss issues with the doctor. You should not need to stay undressed for long before or after the exam.
  • Ask for an examiner of a different gender. If you want to be seen by a specific gender, they should accommodate you if possible. If they cannot, you may need to contact a different provider. They may not be able to accommodate you in an emergency, but at that point, you can request a nurse or other medical staff member to be in the room during treatment and exams.
  • Have your questions answered. If you ask the person examining you about what they are doing or why they’re doing it, they should answer you truthfully and immediately for Sexual Abuse.

A personal injury claim can be filed on your behalf when you allege a doctor sexually abused, assaulted, or sexually harassed you. Depending on the circumstances, the claim may be filed against the doctor who committed the abuse or their employer.

Civil Sexual Assault Lawsuit

The goal of a civil suit is to hold the perpetrator accountable and obtain damages to compensate the victim for the harm they suffered due to the sexual abuse.

Criminal Sexual Assault Case

The goal is to punish the doctor for the sexual assault.

You do not need a criminal case to file a civil personal injury lawsuit. Even if a criminal case for sexual assault was lost against the medical professional, you could still be able to file a civil lawsuit and succeed because of the different burdens of proof involved.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Compensation

Compensation for sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or sexual assault by a medical professional can include some or all the following types of damages:

  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of relationship with your spouse
  • Punitive damages
  • Medical bills, including counseling and therapy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If a medical professional has sexually abused you, you can seek justice by hiring an experienced sexual abuse lawyer.

Contact an Attorney for Help if You Were a Victim of Sexual Abuse

Our attorneys understand this is a sensitive area to discuss and will take steps to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Contact a sexual assault lawyer at Charles Boyk law offices for a free consultation of your case.

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC