17.2 C
Los Angeles
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Doctor Is Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse of Patients, Including 5 Minors

LocalDoctor Is Found Guilty of Sexual Abuse of Patients, Including 5 Minors

A urologist who worked at two prominent New York hospitals was found guilty on Wednesday of sexually abusing seven patients, including five who were minors when the abuse began.

The doctor, Darius A. Paduch, 56, has been accused of molesting hundreds of young men and boys between 2006 and 2023. Prosecutors arrested Dr. Paduch last year, saying he had persuaded victims to travel to his offices in New York and New Jersey so he could abuse them under the guise of medical care.

Dr. Paduch “leveraged his position of trust as a medical doctor for his own perverse gratification,” Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement on Wednesday. “For years, patients seeking needed medical care, many of them children, left his office as victims.”

A Manhattan jury found Dr. Paduch, of North Bergen, N.J., guilty of six counts of persuading, inducing, enticing or coercing an individual to travel to engage in unlawful sexual activity and five counts of using an interstate facility to persuade, induce, entice or coerce a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.

Anthony T. DiPietro, a lawyer representing more than 225 former patients ages 12 to 60 who have filed civil lawsuits, said it was going to take time for many of his clients to process the news. But, he said, “we are all grateful that Darius Paduch will never be able to do this to a single patient in New York State or anyplace else ever again.”

He added that it was common that victims of sexual abuse told no one. “They’ve been carrying this burden around with them, in some instances, for five years, 10 years or more,” he said. ”

Michael Baldassare, a lawyer representing Dr. Paduch, said the urologist “has maintained his innocence since the start of this case.”

“We will continue to fight for him,” he said in a statement.

Dr. Paduch’s medical license was suspended last year by the State Department of Health, and with his conviction, he is expected to have it permanently revoked.

He earlier worked at hospitals including NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill-Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan and Northwell Health on Long Island, and he specialized in Klinefelter syndrome, a genetic disorder in which individuals are born with XXY chromosomes, according to Mr. DiPietro.

Many people with Klinefelter syndrome become infertile in their teenage years, Mr. DiPietro said, so Dr. Paduch saw patients whose parents flew them to New York from all over the country to have their sperm preserved. He also saw patients with erectile dysfunction and other sexual or fertility issues, Mr. DiPietro said.

Once he was alone with a patient in an examination room, prosecutors said, Dr. Paduch would play pornography and direct the person to masturbate. He stood very close to victims, sometimes pressing against and groping them, according to the indictment, and he often touched victims with his hands or a sex toy. Following appointments, Dr. Paduch would text victims, including minors, from his personal cellphone, making inappropriate comments and sexual jokes, the indictment said.

Dr. Paduch enticed many victims to return to his offices for follow-up appointments so that he could continue to abuse them, according to the indictment. For some victims, the abuse occurred many times and lasted several years, prosecutors said.

Like victims of Larry Nassar, the doctor accused of molesting scores of athletes while working with the United States gymnastics team, and James Heaps, the obstetrician-gynecologist who was convicted of sexually abusing patients while working at the University of California, Los Angeles, many of Dr. Paduch’s former patients have filed lawsuits against the hospitals they say covered up the misconduct.

In one lawsuit, dozens of victims allege that people who worked at the hospitals where Dr. Paduch practiced knew he was abusing patients and took action to “conceal his crimes from authorities.” In some cases, the lawsuit says, nurses, physicians and other assistants were in the exam room while Dr. Paduch assaulted patients.

In a statement Wednesday night, Martha Pollack, president of Cornell University, and Robert Harrington, dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, said, “We are heartbroken for these survivors.” They said Cornell was undertaking an investigation and had begun new patient safety programs “to prevent the risk of such abhorrent conduct occurring in the future.”

Margarita Oksenkrug, a spokeswoman for Northwell Health, said in a statement on Wednesday night that the hospital was “deeply disturbed by the information revealed” during the criminal trial. She declined to comment on the lawsuits, citing pending litigation.

Source link

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles