NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City jury is being asked to consider whether a neurologist used his thriving pain-management practice to sexually prey on six patients or if he is a victim of accusers with false stories.
The conflicting portrayals of Dr. Ricardo Cruciani came during closing arguments at a trail in Manhattan. A prosecutor argued the evidence showed that Cruciani groomed patients by overprescribing pain killers, exposing himself and demanding sex.
His lawyer argued that his accusers fabricated their accounts. Cruciani has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including rape, sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault.
An indictment described the doctor, who specialized in rare pain syndromes, grooming patients who were dependent on him for care and prescriptions to addictive opioids, turning back rubs and hugs into gradually more invasive physical attacks and sexual demands.
If certain victims refused to engage in sex acts, he retaliated by referring them to another medical provider that would not prescribe the same combinations or quantities of narcotics, the indictment said.