According to reports, a doctor who specialized in neurology recently condemned for rape and sexual abuse committed suicide inside the prison of Rikers Island in New York, USA.
Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, 68, was recently convicted of 12 counts of sexual abuse of clients at his New York practice.
Dr. Ricardo Cruciani abused several of his patients
The doctor was also charged with 18 federal counts of abusing patients at his Philadelphia and Hopewell, New Jersey offices. He was to go to trial in January 2023.
Early Monday morning, Cruciani stood on a chair and used a piece of cloth to hang himself in the common shower area, according to the New York Daily News.
His death was later confirmed by his attorney, Frederick Sosinsky, who did not confirm the manner of his death.
The Daily News also reported that no floor officers were on duty at the time. Reports of staffing shortages for months have plagued Rikers.
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According to his attorney Sosinsky, Cruciani was never placed in preventive custody or on suicide watch as requested.
“As far as we know, none of these conditions were ever met,” Sosinsky said. If they had been, we wouldn’t be having this terrible argument. Sosinksy also called for an “immediate and objective investigation” into his client’s death.
Once a prominent and highly respected neurologist, Cruciani worked at Beth Israel (now Mt Sinai-Union Square) in Manhattan, the Capital Neuroscience Institute in New Jersey, and chaired the neurology department at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
His accusers date back to 2013 when he started working at Beth Israel.
Six of Cruciani’s accusers in court said the doctor used his psychiatric training to manipulate them and overprescribed opioid painkillers. Patients were then exposed to or demanded sex before filling prescriptions for more drugs.
Prosecutor Shannon Lucey called Cruciani, a “drug dealer who used his prescription pad as a weapon” and “evil in a white coat.”
Cruciani was convicted of 12 counts, including one count of predatory sexual assault, one count of attempted rape, one count of sexual abuse, two counts of rape, and seven counts of criminal sexual acts. He was acquitted of two other charges.
A New York doctor took his own life in prison
Cruciani was due to be sentenced in September and was sent to Rikers Island after receiving the guilty verdict. He faced life in prison.
“We entrust physicians to respect our bodies and our health when we turn to them for help, but Dr. Cruciani completely violated that duty,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said after announcing the verdict.
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As we report in American Post News, Cruciani maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process. His attorneys questioned the motives of his accusers.
“In the end, it appears that the collective weight of six accusers, rather than a fair consideration of each of their problematic accounts, won out,” Sosinsky said.
Cruciani is the 11th person to die in a New York City jail this year. There were 16 jail deaths in 2021, the most since 2013. New York City will close Rikers Island by 2027.