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Drexel University

Drexel’s former Neurology Department Chair, Ricardo Cruciani, has been arrested for allegedly raping a patient. 

The 63-year-old doctor faces multiple counts of rape against a 45-year-old woman who had called a sexual-abuse hotline and reported that Cruciani assaulted her between the years 2005 and 2012.

This is not the first time that Cruciani has faced such charges. While serving as Neurology chair, Cruciani was accused of assaulting multiple patients and ultimately pleaded guilty under a plea agreement, according to TIME.

As part of the agreement, Cruciani was put on probation for seven years and his medical license was revoked. 

According to a statement by Drexel University, “Cruciani’s employment was terminated in March 2017 after Drexel completed a comprehensive internal investigation of complaints made by several patients about his conduct.”

Newsweek reported that Cruciani said at his hearing that he was “truly sorry if [he] caused any harm or any pain.”

Since Cruciani was trained in treating rare disorders, some of the women he abused felt they had no choice but to continue seeing him for treatment. 

"There was nothing consensual about it,” Hillary Tullin, one of Cruciani's patients and victims, told the Associated Press in 2017. “When you’re being held in a locked office with someone for three hours, and you know that that person holds your health in his hands, you make a decision. And my decision was that I wanted to be able to walk again, I wanted to be able to use my arms and legs.”

Tullin said that she could recall "at least a dozen" examples of abuse by the neurologist. 

Another woman told the AP that she tried bringing a friend along to her appointments in hopes of stopping Cruciani’s advances. Cruciani reacted by not refilling her prescription pain medication until the patient was “near withdrawal.” 

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