NEW YORK (PIX11) — A prominent neurologist who was recently convicted of raping several female patients killed himself at a Rikers jail facility Monday, according to officials and reports.
Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, 68, was found unresponsive in the shower area at the Eric M. Taylor Center at around 6:30 a.m., officials said. He was found with a sheet around his neck and died an hour after he was found, according to the New York Times.
Cruciani was found guilty last month of raping six women who were under his care for chronic pain management. He was convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault, rape, and sex abuse, and was facing life in prison.
The doctor was being held at Rikers until his sentencing next month. Cruciani’s lawyer, Frederick Sosinsky, said there was a court order to put his client in protective custody and under suicide watch, but the facility did not seem to comply with the order.
“Ricardo’s attorneys and family are shocked and saddened beyond belief to have learned of his violent death while in city custody this morning,” Sosinsky said.
Monday’s incident marks the 11th Department of Correction custody death this year, officials said. The cause of death is under investigation and will be determined by the medical examiner.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Cruciani’s passing,” DOC Commissioner Louis A. Molina said. “We will conduct a preliminary internal review to determine the circumstances surrounding his death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.”
Another individual died days after he was granted compassionate release, officials said.
Antonio Bradley, 28, was found unresponsive in a Bronx Court holding pen on June 10, according to the DOC. He was given aid and was rushed to a hospital for additional treatment. Bradley was given a compassionate release on June 15. Three days later, he died.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) . It is a free, 24/7 service that offers support, information, and local resources. You can also click here for additional hotlines within your state.