A disgraced neurologist who was convicted of sexually assaulting seven women in Pennsylvania has been charged by New York prosecutors for raping a former patient.
Dr. Ricardo Cruciani was arraigned on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, pleading not guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court to a number of sexual misconduct charges, including rape. After posting a $1 million bail, the physician was released from custody “and then hid from reporters in the lobby of the Manhattan district attorney’s office,” the New York Daily News writes.
New York Neurologist Faces Wave Of Rape Accusations
The new charges stem from a report made to the Manhattan district attorney’s office sexual assault hotline. Hillary Tullin, whose name has been released with her permission, says Dr. Cruciani raped her repeatedly over the course of seven years, between 2005 and 2012.
Prosecutors believe that Cruciani assaulted at least five other women during his tenure at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, though legal experts say there may be other victims who have yet to come forward.
Cruciani Pleaded Guilty To Assault In Philadelphia
The charges come less than one year after Cruciani, who became renowned for his treatment of complex pain disorders, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven patients in Philadelphia. The neurologist served as chair for Drexel University’s neurology department, losing his job after an internal investigation. He lost his medical license, was sentenced to seven years of probation and registered as a sex offender.
Dr. Cruciani, who lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, worked at Mount Sinai, one of New York’s preeminent medical facilities, for years, before moving to a medical center in New Jersey.
Rape & Misconduct Allegations In Three States
Throughout his career, the Associated Press says, Cruciani has become the subject of at least 17 assault complaints. In police reports and civil lawsuits, former patients accuse the neurologist of groping, unwanted kissing, forcing them to touch his genitals and even rape.
Most of the women say Cruciani exploited his prestige as a medical talent to trap them in abusive doctor-patient relationships. The physician came to prominence for accepting patients who other doctors had given up on. “I felt so trapped,” a New York woman told the Associated Press. “This was a man who really knew about a rare condition that I had. I couldn’t find anyone else with his level of knowledge or understanding, and he had my health and my medications over my head. I did what I did to survive.”
Civil Suits Mount Against Cruciani’s Former Employers
A number of civil sex assaults lawsuits have now been filed against Dr. Cruciani, but plaintiffs are also attempting to hold the doctor’s former employers responsible.
In their complaints, women say that Cruciani’s alleged sexual misconduct was an “open secret” in New York’s medical community. One plaintiff describes a conversation she had with her primary care physician. When she disclosed to her doctor that Cruciani had touched her inappropriately and tried to kiss her, the physician said, “well, you know, I’ve heard that he can be a little handsy. Just watch yourself.”