Rape and sexual assault charges against doctors and medical professionals

Posted By Galluzzo & Arnone || 21-Jun-2017

Sexual assault charges and medical doctors/therapists

The attorneys at Galluzzo & Arnone LLP have significant experience defending a wide variety of professionals against criminal and civil accusations of rape and sexual abuse (Matthew Galluzzo, in particular, is a former sex crimes prosecutor in Manhattan with a long track record of success in defending against sex crimes cases). These sorts of allegations are devastating for anyone to endure, but they can be particularly consequential for medical doctors and mental health practitioners.

First, accusations of sexual abuse involving medical doctors can be press-worthy affairs. Recently, an emergency room doctor in New York City was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually abusing patients at his hospital, and his case received considerable media coverage. Needless to say, the media coverage has permanently destroyed his reputation.

In the case of this emergency room doctor, he was convicted of sexual contact with patients that were “physically helpless” (i.e. asleep) at the time, and thus, unable to consent to the sexual contact. Notably, New York state law now includes within its definition of sexual contact the “emission of ejaculate,” meaning that sexual contact can result from masturbating near a victim without actually physically touching the victim. See Penal Law Section 130.00(3).

Doctors and mental health treatment professionals should also be aware of the fact that a sexual act with a patient during a treatment or therapy session is presumed to have been non-consensual per New York law, as well. See New York Penal Law Sections 130.05(3)(h) and 130.05(3)(i).

Further complicating matters, doctors or mental health professionals arrested for sexually assaulting patients can reasonably expect to get sued in civil court. Whereas many plaintiffs do not bother to sue their abusers, in cases involving presumably wealthy medical professionals, plaintiffs generally do not pass up the opportunity to bring a suit. Moreover, plaintiffs and their attorneys generally understand that they can also profit by suing the hospital or employer, as they generally carry significant insurance policies for such cases. Of course, the professionals themselves should be wary of the attorneys representing their employers, as those attorneys owe their allegiance to the hospital or employer and will thus be quick to “throw” the doctor “under the bus” where it suits the employer.

Finally, although it is well known that convictions for sex offenses typically result in permanent criminal records, registration as a sex offender, and potentially prison time, in the case of medical professionals, it can also result in loss of licensure. Thus, a doctor may be unable to ever practice medicine again as a result of certain sexual assault convictions.

If you or a loved one are a medical professional facing a civil or criminal case involving allegations of rape or sexual assault, you should strongly consider working with the experienced professionals at Galluzzo & Arnone. Matthew Galluzzo, in particular, has defended many high net-worth individuals in high stakes criminal and civil matters involving allegations of rape and sexual assault, with a tremendous record of success. He is a recognized expert in rape and sexual assault investigations, and has been asked countless times for his opinion on a wide variety of prominent sexual assault cases in the news over the years. More importantly, though, his exceptional trial results in sexual assault trials speaks for itself here (rape), here (sexual abuse), and here (sexual abuse).