NEW YORK (PIX11) — A prominent neurologist has been convicted of raping and sexually abusing several female patients under his care for chronic pain management, authorities said Friday.
Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, 68, was found guilty of predatory sexual assault, rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse, and criminal sex act, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Cruciani used his thriving practice at Beth Israel Medical Center and other facilities to prey on six female patients who sought treatment for their debilitating pain, officials said. The doctor forced the women to have non-consensual sex and overprescribed pain meds to keep them in his care, prosecutors said.
The physician’s conduct escalated from uncomfortably tight hugs to forcibly kissing and groping the women. Cruciani also forced the patients to perform sex acts and have sex in exchange for prescriptions for their pain meds, prosecutors said. When the victims turned to other doctors, they often were turned away because Cruciani was giving them dangerously high doses, Bragg said.
“Ricardo Cruciani abused his power as a medical professional and knowingly took advantage of his patients’ pain. We entrust doctors to respect our bodies and health when we go to them for help, yet Dr. Cruciani utterly violated that duty. Dr. Cruciani left in his wake six survivors who continue to suffer from debilitating diseases, and now, years of trauma,” Bragg said.
Cruciani will be sentenced on Sept. 14.