Illustrations by Richard Watkins / AJC

Doctors cut deals for sex crimes

Predator physician Larry Nassar has essentially received a life sentence for his guilty pleas in two Michigan state courts. In January, he received a sentence of 40 to 175 years after pleading guilty to seven assaults in Ingham County. In February, he was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison after pleading guilty to three sexual assaults in Eaton County. The sentences will run concurrently.

Before those sentences were imposed, the former physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

While those sentences have dominated the headlines, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that courts across the country have cut a break to many other physicians accused of sexual offenses against patients or charged with child pornography. Here are some recent notable examples:

Dr. Dilip Kumar Roy

• Sentence: 28 days in jail.

• Allegations: The New York physician was accused of raping one patient during a medical exam. In a 2016 plea deal, he admitted to only one misdemeanor charge of sexual misconduct. The medical board had also accused him of inappropriate contact with seven other female patients, including rubbing their clothed breasts, thighs and buttocks and putting his tongue in their mouths.

Dr. Robert Anthony Hadden

• Sentence: Time served

• Allegations: Multiple patients accused this Manhattan OB-GYN of oral sex contact and unwanted sexual touching. He was charged with abusing five patients. In a 2016 plea deal, he admitted to a felony criminal sexual act and a misdemeanor of forcible touching. Hadden was required to give up his medical license but got no jail or probation. His “time served” was part of a day in jail after being arrested.
» Photo by Steven Hirsch

Dr. Jorge Burgos

• Sentence: 7 days in jail

• Allegations: The Las Vegas physician originally faced 16 counts of open and gross lewdness, accused of groping and kissing at least seven patients during exams. In one case, he lifted the bra of a patient being seen for a mole and touched his mouth to one of her breasts. In a plea deal, 13 of the counts were dropped. The judge allowed Burgos to serve his seven days on weekends, so the 2017 sentence would not interrupt his medical practice.

Dr. Ricardo Cruciani

• Sentence: Probation

• Allegations: After seven patients said that Cruciani, who was chairman of the Department of Neurology at Drexel University, groped them, he was charged in Pennsylvania with seven counts each of indecent assault, simple assault and harassment and one count of indecent exposure. But he negotiated a plea deal in which he admitted only to three counts of indecent assault and four counts of harassment and got probation. However, later he was accused of raping and groping women in New York and sexually assaulting patients in New Jersey when he worked in those states, and criminal cases on those charges are pending.

Dr. Shoichi Okada

• Sentence: Time served

• Allegations: Police said the Missouri surgical resident had more than 2,000 images of child pornography as well as 31 videos, according to local news reports. Court records on the rationale for his 2016 sentence are sealed. A Japanese citizen, he was facing deportation as part of the case.

Dr. Douglas Buxton

• Sentence: Probation, deferred sentence

• Allegations: The Montana anesthesiologist was found with more than 30 child sex videos on his computer. After a surgeon told the court that Buxton was a “great young talent,” the judge in 2017 imposed the deferred sentence for six years so Buxton would have a chance to keep his license, according to reports in the Missoulian newspaper. If he complies with court conditions while on probation, he can petition to have the conviction sealed.