A best-selling author and talk show guest. A physician who worked with the NFL and the NBA. A renowned brain surgeon. A renowned clinician. A renowned pediatrician.
These were some of the high-profile doctors among those nationwide found to have sexually abused their patients, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation found.
Here is a look at seven of the physicians.
Dr. Harold Bloomfield. The author of best-selling books and a proponent of transcendental meditation, Bloomfield was a well-known psychiatrist and TV guest, including on “Oprah” and “Larry King Live.” He even ran for governor of California.
But in 2002, he pleaded guilty to drugging and sexually assaulting two female patients who had gone to him for therapy. Four criminal counts were dropped. Bloomfield was ordered to do community service and was precluded from practicing medicine for five years.
In a 2006 interview, Bloomfield, who now goes by “Hari,” said he was “out of control” and described a short time in jail as both rock bottom and a fresh start: “We all wind up on our knees before God.”
Dr. Kevin Brown. The son of a former Bermuda premier and head of a Los Angeles clinic, Brown was arrested in 2008 in an undercover sting that included a female police officer testifying that Brown had fondled her breast when she went in for an ankle injury.
In all, he was found guilty on 21 counts, including sexual penetration by a foreign object. He was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison and required to register as a sex offender.
Dr. William Warren Frost. Frost, a former medical professor, was director of the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Hahnemann University School of Medicine (now part of Drexel University) in Philadelphia. In 2006 he pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault. “Multiple female patients” had accused him of inappropriate touching of a sexual nature, according to the state medical board. His license was revoked at the end of 2006.
Dr. Nelson Hendler. The Maryland-based Hendler, who was a nationally recognized expert on pain, was medical director of the Mensana Clinic, which specialized in chronic pain. Three people alleged Hendler engaged in sexual misconduct in the ’90s and early ’00s, including touching and rubbing, according to the state medical board. One patient said she masturbated and provided oral sex to Hendler in exchange for drugs. He also told police he didn’t have a permit to dispense prescription drugs, a Maryland board order states.
In 2006, his medical license was suspended. In 2007, his license was revoked after he submitted an Alford plea to a felony drug charge, a plea in which the defendant maintains innocence but admits there is evidence to convict him. But he was sentenced to “probation before judgment,” avoiding a conviction, and in 2011 his police and court records were ordered expunged. He settled several lawsuits by patients who accused him of sexual abuse. His LinkedIn profile says he remains the owner of Mensana Clinic Diagnostics, for which he developed tests on pain.
Dr. Melvin Levine. A pediatrician, Levine was a nationally known advocate for children with learning disabilities, appearing on “Oprah” and PBS. His nonprofit educational training organization for teachers led to him being recognized as the most admired person in education by Scholastic Press.
In 2011, a class-action lawsuit accused him of abusing “thousands of pediatric patients,” according to The Boston Globe. That suit followed one in 2005 and complaints in both Massachusetts and North Carolina. He was believed to have sexually abused boys as far back as the mid-1960s. On Feb. 18, 2011, one day after the lawsuit was filed, Levine killed himself.
Dr. Guy Owens. The Connecticut neurosurgeon was renowned for inventing an instrument useful in brain surgery. Owens was also a major figure at two Connecticut hospitals, directing their surgical units.
But in 2003 he was arrested on sexual assault and drug charges. At least six women accused him of sexual abuse. One woman said she had been overprescribed Percocet and Xanax; at his trial, the woman said Owens had taken advantage of her sexually because of her drug usage.
Owens was known for overprescribing, the Hartford Courant reported: “Owens’ reputation had become so suspect in recent years that few city pharmacies would honor his painkiller prescriptions, police said.”
In 2005 he received a three-year suspended sentence and three years’ probation.
Dr. Raymond Reiter. A New Jersey orthopedist, Reiter worked with professional sports teams including the NBA’s New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets and the NFL’s New York Giants. In 2001 he pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual assault and four counts of criminal sexual conduct, including an incident in which he removed the bra of an 18-year-old car accident victim, pulled her underwear aside and put his finger into her vagina while rubbing against her.
His medical license was revoked and he was sentenced to three years in prison. He served one.
In 2008 the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners allowed him a limited license to update his skills. And in 2011, even though he was a registered sex offender, his license to practice was reinstated with several conditions attached, including psychotherapy, no solo practice, and chaperones for female patients.
“I’m extremely grateful that I’ve gotten a second chance,” Reiter told The Bergen (N.J.) Record in 2015. “I’ve done the most I can with it, and I’ve grown from my transgression.”