NATIONAL NEWS

Urologist accused of patient sex abuse, including of minors

Apr 11, 2023, 3:38 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York-area doctor was charged in an indictment unsealed Tuesday with sexual abuse of multiple male patients over several years, accused of using the prestige of two prominent medical institutions to make his actions seem medically necessary and appropriate.

Darius A. Paduch, 55, of North Bergen, New Jersey, was charged in Manhattan federal court with sexually abusing patients, including two males who were allegedly attacked before they became adults. Authorities said the attacks occurred at one Manhattan hospital from at least 2015 through 2019, and afterward at a second institution on Long Island.

At an initial court appearance, Paduch pleaded not guilty to the charges. In the event of a conviction, the charges could lead to a 10-year mandatory-minimum prison sentence or as much as life in prison.

Paducah was detained with the expectation that his lawyer would make a bail argument at a future date. His attorney declined to comment.

The indictment said Paduch had worked in New York from 2003 through 2023 as a practicing urologist specializing in male reproductive health.

The doctor claimed that some of his methods of touching his patients were medically necessary, but the indictment said they served no medical purpose and were intended instead for his sexual gratification.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement said Paduch abused the trust of patients who saw him for sensitive medical problems.

“Paduch took advantage of his victims for his own deviant satisfaction. Thanks to this morning’s arrest, Paduch’s abuse of his patients ends today,” he said.

Michael J. Driscoll, head of New York’s FBI office, urged victims who have not spoken to authorities to call the FBI.

The indictment was praised by Mallory Allen, a law partner at a firm that has filed seven lawsuits on behalf of patients against the doctor and two hospitals where he has worked: New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Northwell Health.

“The indictment is a defining step towards justice for his many victims, and we applaud federal prosecutors for bringing these charges,” Allen said in a release.

In a statement, Northwell Health said it takes “these allegations very seriously.”

“Dr. Paduch is no longer working at Northwell. We will cooperate with the appropriate authorities as they conduct their investigation,” the statement added.

Weill Cornell Medicine said in its own statement that it has arranged for an outside investigation and it, too, is taking seriously the “disturbing allegations.”

“If proven true, it would be hard to overstate our empathy for the survivors of this awful abuse and their bravery in coming forward,” it said.

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