NEW YORK – A neurologist who had pleaded guilty to groping women at a Philadelphia clinic was arrested on Tuesday on charges that he repeatedly raped a patient in New York City.
Dr. Ricardo Cruciani was taken into custody and will be arraigned in New York on multiple counts of rape and other sex crimes, according to police.
The former patient, Hillary Tullin, 45, called a sexual abuse hotline last year and reported that Cruciani had abused her between 2005 and 2012, authorities said.
Tullin told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she testified before a grand jury about two weeks ago.
“I don’t know that he’s going to go gently into the good night, but I’m very hopeful,” she said. “He needs to be locked up.”
The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they give permission, that Tullin has done. She told her story in the public AP of last year.
Cruciani’s lawyer, Mark Furman, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
The AP reported in November that at least 17 women in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey had stepped forward to accuse Cruciani of sexual misconduct in encounters that dates back at least twelve years.
Women who said they were sexually abused by Cruciani told the AP that she felt she had no choice then but to continue seeing the Ivy League-trained neurologist who specializes in rare, complex disorders that produce debilitating pain.
Tullin said that she too felt she had no other choice than to continue to see Cruciani, because he was one of the few doctors that could treat her condition.
On Tuesday, she praised New York City police and prosecutors to take her case seriously.
“This is for all the women that he tortured and abused and abused,” she said.
Two law enforcement officials confirmed Tullin is the woman for whom Cruciani has been charged with rape. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to provide the names of people who say they have been sexually assaulted.
Cruciani pleaded guilty to assaulting seven patients in 2016, while he was chairman of the Drexel University, department of neurology. Under a plea agreement, he was sentenced to seven years probation. He also had to register as a sex offender and lose his medical license.
“I’m really sorry if I caused no harm or pain,” he said at his sentencing hearing.
Rubinkam reported from northeastern Pennsylvania.