New York City Dr. Ricardo Cruciani Found Dead in His Cell at Rikers

Ricardo Cruciani was found with a sheet around his neck in a shower weeks after his conviction. He was the 12th person to die this year in custody or shortly after release.

Cruciani, a New York City neurologist and pain management physician, had been found guilty of 12 counts of sexual assault, abuse, and rape of six patients under his care at the Beth Israel Medical Center.  According to a press release released by the District Attorney on July 29, 2022, "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."

Cruciani would trade pain prescriptions for sex from his patients not only in New York but in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well.  "He didn't finish writing my prescriptions until I did something for him," one told the jury.

Cruciani was facing sentencing on September 14, 2022. 

Aside from the charges he faced in New York, Cruciani was also arrested in October 2021 on similar federal charges alleging that he was a serial, sexual abuser of women who went to him for help with debilitating chronic pain. The abuse took place over 15 years at his offices in New York City, Philadelphia and Hopewell, New Jersey.

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