NYC jury hears closings at neurologist’s sex crimes trial

Jul 26, 2022, 1:55 PM | Updated: 5:06 pm
FILE -- Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, a neurologist who admitted groping women at a Philadelphia clinic, le...

FILE -- Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, a neurologist who admitted groping women at a Philadelphia clinic, leaves Manhattan state Supreme Court, in New York, Feb. 21, 2018. A New York City jury was asked, Tuesday, July 26, 2022, to consider whether Cruciuani used his thriving pain-management practice to sexually prey on six patients or if he is a victim of accusers with false stories. (AP Photo/Colleen Long, File)

(AP Photo/Colleen Long, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City jury was asked Tuesday 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 case against Dr. Ricardo Cruciani relied on “survivor stories of six very different women,” assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey said in closing arguments at Cruciani’s trial.

“This is a trial about a doctor who raped, sodomized, hugged and manipulated his patients,” Lucey said.

The prosecutor argued the evidence showed that Cruciani groomed patients by overprescribing pain killers, sometimes to treat serious injuries from car wrecks and other accidents.

The accusers testified that the sexual abuse often occurred behind closed doors during appointments in 2013 at a Manhattan medical center, where the doctor would expose himself and demand sex.

“He didn’t finish writing my prescriptions until I did something for him,” one said.

The behavior was “just pure evil,” she said, adding, “This defendant is nothing but a drug dealer who used his prescription pad as a weapon.”

Defense attorney Fred Sosinsky countered by arguing the witnesses were unreliable, telling jurors, “You should have every reason to doubt these accusations.”

He added that the witnesses “were willing to lie” and “dispute the indisputable.”

Hospital records undercut the witness timelines for the assaults and supported defense claims that they were getting proper care, Sosinsky said. The lawyer also cited loving notes some witnesses had written to their alleged assailant, including one that read in part: “I hope you have a nice holiday. … You’ve truly been the best doctor I’ve ever had.”

Cruciani, 68, has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including rape, sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault.

The jury worked for about an hour late Tuesday without reaching a verdict. It was to resume deliberations on Wednesday morning.

Among the witnesses at a trial that began seven weeks ago was Hillary Tullin, who helped fuel the case by calling a sexual abuse hotline in 2017 and reporting that Cruciani had abused her between 2005 and 2013. Tullin told The Associated Press in 2018 after the doctor’s arrest that he “needs to be locked up.”

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are survivors of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Tullin has done.

Cruciani is also facing federal charges in an indictment accusing him of abusing multiple patients over 15 years at his offices in New York City, Philadelphia and Hopewell, New Jersey.

The federal charges and state trial follow years of public complaints by Cruciani’s accusers that authorities in some places weren’t taking his crimes seriously, particularly in Philadelphia, where he pleaded guilty to relatively minor misdemeanor groping counts involving seven patients.

Lucey, the prosecutor in the New York case, said Tuesday that Cruciani’s accusers should be credited for having the courage to come forward.

“They get to take back some of the power and control that he took from them,” she said. “Each were broken. Each are rebuilding.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Russia temporarily pulls out of weapons inspection treaty

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced Monday that Moscow was temporarily withdrawing from the inspection regime established under a key bilateral nuclear arms reduction treaty between it and the U.S. In a statement on its website, the ministry said Western sanctions made it impossible for Russia to enforce the New START Treaty “in strict […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for September delivery rose $1.75 to $90.76 a barrel Monday. Brent crude for October delivery rose $1.73 to $96.65 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for September delivery rose 3 cents to $2.89 a gallon. September heating oil fell 4 cents to $3.18 a gallon. September natural gas fell 47 cents to $7.59 […]
13 hours ago
FILE - A giant tarp, bottom,  covers a section of rubble where search and rescue personnel have bee...
Associated Press

Judge: property sale will pay fallen Florida condo’s taxes

Money from the sale of Florida beachfront property where a collapsed condominium tower once stood will be used to pay property taxes of the destroyed units, a judge ordered Monday. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said in a brief ruling that the 2022 tax payments should not be deducted from the $96 million previously earmarked […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a ne...
Associated Press

Lawyer: Giuliani won’t testify Tuesday in Ga. election probe

ATLANTA (AP) — Rudy Giuliani will not appear as scheduled Tuesday before a special grand jury in Atlanta that’s investigating whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia, his lawyer said. A judge last month had ordered Giuliani, a Trump lawyer and former New York […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

US obtains warrant to seize $90M jet of Russian oligarch

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge authorized the United States on Monday to seize a $90 million jet belonging to a Russian oligarch in a continuing effort to diminish the financial pillars of the Russian government after its invasion of Ukraine. The effort to seize Andrei Skoch’s private plane, an Airbus A319-100, was part of […]
13 hours ago
Former actress Jennette McCurdy, author of the memoir "I'm Glad My Mom Died," poses for a portrait,...
Associated Press

Jennette McCurdy rises above childhood trauma with new book

Jennette McCurdy is well-aware the title of her new book, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” (Simon & Schuster) is attention-grabbing. She also readily admits that she means every word. “It’s something that I mean sincerely, I’m not saying it to be flippant.” McCurdy, who co-starred in Nickelodeon shows “iCarly” with Miranda Cosgrove and its spin-off […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
NYC jury hears closings at neurologist’s sex crimes trial