NYC neurologist Ricardo Cruciani described as 'evil in a white coat' as sex assault trial begins
Metro

NYC neurologist described as ‘evil in a white coat’ as trial begins on rape, assault charges

A disgraced Manhattan neurologist accused of groping and sexually assaulting six female patients is finally facing a jury.

Ricardo Cruciani, 67, went on trial in Manhattan Supreme Court Monday on rape, sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault charges — more than four years after his arrest.

“Evil in a white coat,” is how Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey described Cruciani to the jury, calling him, “A small devious man who could have used his highly intelligent ways for good instead of bad.”

The six alleged victims — “broken and complex” women — will all testify at the trial, which is expected to last through the end of July.

“You will see that each had a history, a demeanor, a broken past that made them his perfect victim,” Lucey said in her opening statement. “He built trust in each of them. He pathologically got to know their weaknesses, their vulnerabilities.”

Cruciani was accused of using his medical skills to extract sexual favors from as many as 17 women for more than a decade, police said when he was arrested.

Ricardo Cruciani, 67, has been accused by 17 women of using his medical skills as a neurologist to sexually assault them.
Ricardo Cruciani, 67, has been accused by 17 women of using his medical skills as a neurologist to sexually assault them.
Alec Tabak
Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey described Cruciani to the jury as "Evil in a white coat."
Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey described Cruciani to the jury as “Evil in a white coat.”
AP

Once a prominent doctor, he served as chairman of the neurology department at Drexel University, before the allegations against him began surfacing.

The women claimed Cruciani fondled, molested and engaged in sexual acts with the women at Drexel, Capital Health Medical Center in New Jersey and at his Beth Israel Medical Center practice in New York.

The alleged victims in the Manhattan case were all patients at his Beth Israel practice.

Defense attorney Fred Sosinsky said during opening statements that his client’s accusers will be proven to be unreliable.

“There are very good, indeed fantastic reasons, to doubt the accusations in this case,” Sosinsky told jurors. “Each of the witnesses are playing fast and loose with dates, months and years and accounts and stories.

More than four years after his arrest, Cruciani went on trail in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday for rape, sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault charges.
More than four years after his arrest, Cruciani went on trail in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday for rape, sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault charges.
Alec Tabak

“All these things supposedly took place in a busy, crowded office on 14th Street and Union Square,” he said.

Cruciani had been free pending his trial.