In October 2021, former doctor Ricardo Cruciani was arrested and criminally charged with sexually abusing numerous female patients at medical institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for over a decade. Several lawsuits reported on by the New York Times further allege that the ex-neurologist manipulated patients into trusting him, overprescribed pain medication and opioids, and then exploited their reliance on these medications to sexually assault them.
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Numerous lawsuits claim that pain doctor Ricardo Cruciani sexually abused patients as hospitals failed to intervene
Former patients of ex-neurologist and pain specialist Ricardo Cruciani are seeking justice against him—and the hospitals that employed him—for allegedly failing to take sufficient action despite numerous red flags and reports of abuse.
Several recent lawsuits claim that the hospitals failed to properly screen Cruciani, supervise him, or inform state authorities or his subsequent employers about the sexual assaults they knew about, or should have known about.
Cruciani treated patients at several prominent medical institutions throughout his career, including:
- Beth Israel Medical Center in New York
- Capital Health Hospitals in New Jersey, and
- Drexel University in Philadelphia
If you were a patient at any of these medical institutions and are concerned about the treatment you received from Ricardo Cruciani or another medical professional, contact our sexual assault attorneys for a free and confidential consultation.
Ricardo Cruciani arrested and federally indicted for abusing his power and sexually abusing patients
Content warning: sexual abuse
The New York Times reports that despite rising complaints over the years, Cruciani continued his patterns of abuse until 2017, when he was charged with sexual assault, registered as a sex offender, and surrendered his medical license in a plea agreement. Then, in October 2021, Cruciani was arrested on federal charges, with an indictment alleging that from roughly 2012-2017 he enticed victims to his medical offices and subjected them to sexual abuse. The indictment notes:
“Cruciani exploited and leveraged his position of trust as a healthcare provider, the significant pain suffered by the victims, and his ability to prescribe or withhold pain medication, including highly-addictive opioids, from the victims, so that he could sexually abuse them.”
In a US Department of Justice press release, New York Attorney General Damian Williams commented on the egregiousness of Cruciani’s conduct, explaining:
“[d]octors like the defendant take an oath to do no harm. It is difficult to imagine conduct more anathema to that oath than exploiting patients’ vulnerability in order to sexually abuse them.”
Recent lawsuits against Cruciani allege sexual assault and overmedication
In one of the most recent lawsuits against Cruciani, which was reported on in a recent New York Times exposé, one former patient said she felt that Cruciani really cared, but then things took a dark turn when he got her dependent on opioids, and threatened to withhold her medication if he didn’t give in to his advances, which included forced oral sex and masturbation. Another lawsuit filed in 2018 by a former patient describes how Cruciani made inappropriate comments about female patients’ physical appearances, locked them in exam rooms “so as to prevent their escape,” and committed a range of inappropriate, sexual touching and indecent exposure.
Another lawsuit filed on behalf of 11 former patients claims that Cruciani would punish women who tried to bring companions or chaperones to their appointments by delaying or outright denying them written prescriptions that they relied on to manage their pain. According to the New York Times report, other patients say they dropped off written complaints in hospital mailboxes in an attempt to alert hospital administrators of Cruciani’s predatory behavior, but many of their complaints were ignored.
One former patient told AP:
“These hospitals created this perfect storm of opportunity for him to victimize so many patients. The system failed.”
If you experienced overmedication, sexual advances, or other abuses at the hands of Ricardo Cruciani or another medical professional, know you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. We are here to listen and help when you’re ready.
Resources if you’ve been sexually assaulted
Please know that you’re not alone. There are people ready to listen and help.
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):
- 1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
This free, confidential hotline connects you to a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
We continue to investigate potential claims for sexual assault and harassment. If you are seeking legal help, or just want to get more information, please click below to speak to one of our attorneys confidentially.
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Gibbs Law Group’s award-winning sexual assault attorneys represent survivors across the country. Our team is committed to empowering sexual assault survivors to regain control, achieve justice and begin to heal. We recently obtained a $73 million settlement on behalf of former patients of UCLA gynecologist Dr. James Heaps, who was accused of sexual abuse and misconduct.
- We believe you can heal. The journey may look different for everyone. But know this: what happened to you wasn’t your fault, and you aren’t alone.
- We believe in your power. Sexual assault can be personal and traumatic, and we honor the courage and strength it takes to share your story. If you have questions, feel ready to pursue a legal claim, or just need someone to talk to about your experience, you can confide in our team of experienced professionals.
- You’re in control. As your advocates, we’re dedicated to helping you gain your power back. You can choose to work with female or male attorneys and staff. Whether you prefer phone calls, videoconferencing or texting, we can communicate in a way that’s comfortable for you. You are in control and you decide what you want to do.
- We’re with you, every step of the way. We’ll keep you updated on your case—in non-lawyer terms. We will explain the legal process and next steps in a clear way you can understand. Our client-centered approach is rooted in a sincere focus on our clients’ wellbeing and intended to empower clients’ pursuit of justice.
- Our results are unmatched. Our award-winning lawyers take on some of the biggest, most powerful entities across the country—and win. We have the resources, experience and skill to fight for you and other survivors of sexual assault. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Women Lawyers in California,” “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Class Action Practice Group of the Year.”
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