A neurologist convicted of sexually abusing patients reportedly killed himself at a New York City jail on Monday, Associated Press reported citing sources. Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, 68, was found unresponsive in the shower area of a jail at the Rikers Island, the people spoke on condition of anonymity.
The fire department also informed that they had responded to a call of an unconscious inmate at the jail around 5:50 am. He was pronounced dead at the scene after attempts to resuscitate him. The cause behind his death is still unknown.
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Cruciani was scheduled to go on trial in January on federal charges for abusing his patients at his various offices in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey. He was also set to be sentenced next month in a New York state case where he had been convicted in July on 12 counts of predatory sexual assault, sexual abuse, rape and other crimes after six women testified against him.
His lawyer, Frederick Sosinsky, has also confirmed his death and called for an investigation into the circumstances around his death and whether jail officials had placed him in protective custody and under suicide watch, as per a court order from the time he was convicted.
“Neither of these conditions were, to our knowledge, ever complied with. Had they been, we would not be having this terrible discussion,” Sosinsky was quoted as saying by Associated Press.
Cruciani used to reportedly groom vulnerable patients by overprescribing painkillers, as per the prosecutors. Six women had testified that Cruciani used to expose himself and demand sexual favors from them during appointments in 2013 at a Manhattan medical center.
Cruciani was a pain specialist who was known to relieve any kind of pain.
(With inputs from agencies)