D.A. Bragg Announces Trial Conviction of Neurologist Ricardo Cruciani for Rape and Sexual Assault of Patients


July 29, 2022

Jury Finds Cruciani Guilty on 12 Counts 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of neurologist RICARDO CRUCIANI, 68, for the sexual assault, abuse, and rape of six patients under his care at the Beth Israel Medical Center. The conviction follows a month-long trial that included testimony from the individuals assaulted by CRUCIANI, each of whom sought his medical expertise to treat chronic and debilitating pain disorders. As proven at trial, CRUCIANI not only forced his patients to have non-consensual sex, but overprescribed serious pain medication in order to keep them in his care. A New York State Supreme Court jury found CRUCIANI guilty of one count of Predatory Sexual Assault; one count of Attempted Rape in the first degree; one count of Sexual Abuse in the first degree; two counts of Rape in the third degree; and seven counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the third degree. He will be sentenced on September 14.
 
“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,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Although we can never undo his horrific actions, I hope this conviction serves as a measure of justice for the brave survivors who came forward to share their stories and endured this long and painful trial. Finally, I thank our hardworking team of attorneys for their dedication, diligence and commitment to delivering accountability in this case.”

As proven at trial, CRUCIANI manipulated and abused six patients at Beth Israel Medical Center and later, at facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Each of the women had complex pain diseases which led them to seek out CRUCIANI, who was highly esteemed within the medical field.
 
CRUCIANI developed a personal relationship with each patient, including discussing his own family matters and personal issues. He used his training in psychiatry to ask intrusive and revealing questions about private matters including their childhoods and marital relationships. CRUCIANI initiated physical contact by stroking his patients’ hair, complimenting their appearance and giving them uncomfortably tight hugs. Eventually, CRUCIANI progressed to forcibly kissing the women, groping them, and compelling them to perform oral sex and have sexual intercourse.
 
CRUCIANI frequently forced his patients to perform sexual acts in order to receive prescriptions for addictive pain medications. CRUCIANI over-prescribed high doses of pain medications to the point of addiction, which ensured his patients could not leave his care despite the abuse. When patients sought outside care, some doctors refused to see them because of the dangerously high doses they were prescribed. The survivors were left with opioid addictions, sexual trauma, and without proper medical care for their extremely rare and painful diseases.
 
Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey handled the prosecution of the case with Assistant District Attorney Gow Mosby Jr. under the supervision of Joyce Smith (Chief of the Special Victims Division). Former Assistant District Attorney Leah Branch and Trial Preparation Assistant Charlotte McCarthy assisted with prosecution of the case. The Witness Aid Services Unit also provided valuable assistance, including Special Victims Social Worker Melissa Martinez and Sex Crimes Criminal Director Nakeisha Vanterpool under the supervision of Co-Director Beverly Gilchrist. Victim Advocate Assistant Supervisor Natalie Brenes, Senior Victim Advocate Hali Adamson, Anjuli Rivera and Jeanine Viera Santiago also assisted. 
 
District Attorney Bragg thanks the survivors who bravely came forward to testify.
 
Defendant Information:
RICARDO CRUCIANI
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
 
Convicted:

  • Predatory Sexual Assault, a class A felony, One Count
  • Attempted Rape in the First Degree, One Count
  • Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, One Count
  • Rape in the Third Degree, Two Counts
  • Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree, Seven Counts

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