Victims of a Manhattan neurologist who killed himself on Rikers Island after being found guilty of raping his patients said they hoped he would rot in hell on Wednesday – as they asked the court to release his to uphold conviction.
Six women killed by the disgraced Dr. Ricardo Cruciani while they were his patients, asked Manhattan Judge Michele Rodney to deny a motion by defense attorneys asking that his conviction be overturned on the grounds that he was dead.
“The idea of dropping that judgment is like a dagger in my heart,” said Hillary Tullin, who testified that Cruciani sexually abused her in the early 2000s while she was treating her for a debilitating pain condition.
“What do you say to someone who’s dead and robbed you? [of the ability] have justice? He stole my agency and sense of autonomy,” she said.
At the time of his apparent suicide on August 15, Cruciani was awaiting conviction and facing up to 25 years of life imprisonment. This meant his case was technically still pending when he died, allowing his guilty verdict and charges to be dismissed under New York law.
“Please, Your Honor, please… two weeks in prison is not enough time for what he did to me,” said an unidentified victim.
“I can only help Hell exist so he can rot there,” she tearfully said, calling Cruciani “Dr. Devilish.”
The woman said since being abused by Cruciani, she has stopped going to the doctor because of medical issues.
“I don’t live, I don’t survive. I just exist I rarely leave my apartment,” she says.
“I’m really struggling with the fact that he will never go to jail or be punished for what he did to me and so many others over the years… He took my chance and my five fellow witnesses’ chance, him as a convict.” to confront criminals. I feel like a victim once again…Suicide was just another selfish act.”
Tanisha Johnson, who was abused by Cruciani as his patient at Beth Israel, said the charges shouldn’t go away just because the depraved doctor chose to “take the coward’s way out.”
“Closing for me was facing him in court. I don’t have that option now,” she said. “Please don’t allow him to attack me with death again. Removing those charges tells every single woman he’s assaulted, well, move on. If it just could be that easy.”
Cruciani was arrested more than four years ago after at least 17 patients came forward to accuse him of misconduct during his time at Beth Israel Medical Center and later at facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
At his trial this summer, prosecutors described Cruciani as “evil in a white coat” and told jurors he was “a small, sneaky man who could have used his highly intelligent ways for good rather than evil.”
For more than a decade, prosecutors said, Cruciani treated patients with rare diseases and chronic pain, then tricked them into using highly addictive painkillers so he could coerce them into sexual acts in exchange for the drugs.
After his trial, Cruciani was found guilty on 12 counts of third-degree rape, sexual abuse, attempted rape, predatory sexual assault and criminal sex offenses.
A woman who failed to identify herself pleaded with the court not to “undo all the work it took to convict Cruciani.”
“I thought this was finally over,” said the woman.
“He took his own life and in that one selfish act he robbed his victims of justice and closure. Despite his death, he lives on in my nightmare. Even from the grave, Mr. Cruciani is trying to disrupt my life… His grip is around me again, controlling my current situation and life.”
Judge Rodney did not rule on the motion during the hearing and is expected to make a decision at a later date.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/14/rapist-nyc-doctor-victims-ask-court-to-uphold-verdict-after-suicide/ Victims of NYC rapist doctors seek court to uphold verdict after suicide