'Rapist' NYC neurologist Ricardo Cruciani found DEAD at Rikers Island's shower in apparent suicide

'Rapist' NYC neurologist Ricardo Cruciani found DEAD at Rikers Island's shower in apparent suicide
Neurologist Ricardo Cruciani, who was convicted for rape and various sexual misconduct allegations, was found dead at Rikers Island (CBS New York)

NEW YORK CITY: A couple of weeks after being proven guilty of sexual misconduct involving six of his patients, neurologist Ricardo Cruciani allegedly killed himself at Rikers Island on Monday morning on August 15. The New York Times stated that Cruciani, a 68-year-old doctor who specialized in treating chronic pain, was discovered with a sheet around his throat in the prison's bathroom. Healthcare experts arrived soon after, but Cruciani was declared dead about an hour after he was discovered.
 
A jury found Cruciani guilty after weighing up all the shreds of evidence and statements for three days. Besides two charges of rape, seven instances of illegal sexual conduct, and one count each of predatory sexual abuse, attempted rape, and sex abuse, the court ruled him guilty on all 12 counts. On two extra charges, he was found not guilty.

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Cruciani was detained in the Eric M Taylor Center's general population dormitory wing, according to a representative acquainted with the incident who spoke to the Times. Cruciani entered the bathing area at 4:23 in the morning, and a security officer found him lifeless at 5:35, according to a second official who spoke to the Times. The officer went into the shower area, unsure if other prison guards had visited the place on Monday morning, as they are expected to do every half an hour.

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Cruciani’s lawyer, Frederick Sosinsky, called for an investigation into the circumstances of Cruciani’s death, and why the Department of Correction had failed to follow the court’s orders with regard to his client. The judge had directed the prison authorities to place Cruciani under suicide watch and in protective custody. “Neither of these conditions were, to our knowledge, ever complied with,” Mr. Sosinky said. If the order had been followed, he would have been under supervision 24/7, even while using the bathroom.
 
In a statement, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections Louis Molina expressed his sadness over the death of a person while in prison. "We will conduct a preliminary internal review to determine the circumstances surrounding his death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones," said Molina.

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Cruciani was charged with luring people by giving them excessive amounts of medications and then requesting sex in return. According to a lady, "he didn't finish writing my prescriptions until I did something for him." Cruciani had refuted the accusations of sexual assault, and after the judgment, his lawyer, Fred Sosinsky, had announced that the doctor intended to appeal the ruling. Federal charges against Cruciani were still ongoing as a result of claims that he mistreated his patients for 15 years in his clinics in New York City, Philadelphia, and Hopewell, New Jersey.

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