Found Dead at Rikers
Knowing that his lawyer called for him to be placed under surveillance only minutes after his conviction.
Doctor Riccardo Crocciani, a 68-year-old neurologist, was found to be .
Doctor found dead in New York’s Rikers jail just weeks after being convicted of sexually assaulting his patients
Early Monday morning he was sitting in the prison shower area with a sheet around his neck, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.
Shortly thereafter, medical staff arrived to take care of him.
Documents show that he died about an hour after his discovery.
A New York-area neurologist convicted in July of sexually assaulting his patients was Found dead in an apparent suicide Monday morning at the Rikers Island prison complex, his attorneys and prosecutors said.
Dr. Riccardo Crociani, 68, had been jailed for more than two weeks awaiting sentencing after a New York City jury found him guilty of twelve criminal counts, including two of rape, seven criminal sexual acts, one of predatory sexual assault and one of attempted rape.
He was expected to be sentenced on September 14.
Mr. Crociani is the twelfth person to have died this year either while in city jails or shortly after his release.
His death came about two weeks after he was convicted by a jury on 12 counts of predatory sexual assault, sexual assault, rape and other crimes, for his treatment of six patients he saw around 2012.
In a statement, the New York City Department of Corrections Commissioner, Louis A. Molina, he is “deeply saddened to learn of the death of this person in custody.”
“We will conduct a preliminary internal review to determine the circumstances surrounding his death,” he said in the statement, which did not identify Mr. Crociani. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.”
A source familiar with the matter said the correction officer first noticed Crocciani needed medical attention at around 5:35 a.m. and then called the radio for help.
The source said that the medical staff arrived in less than 10 minutes and a doctor was also called to the scene before the death of Crociani was announced, according to a report on the accident.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of this detained individual,” Commissioner Luis Molina said in a statement. “We will conduct a preliminary internal review to determine the circumstances of his death,” he added.
Mr Crociani was due to be sentenced on September 14 and could have faced life imprisonment. He also faced federal charges in Manhattan and state charges for similar conduct in New Jersey.
During his trial in the New York State Supreme Court, prosecutors said Mr Crocciani, once renowned as a sympathetic and brilliant doctor with a special talent for treating chronic pain, engaged in a pattern of unwanted behavior with several of the women he treated. .
The case of State v Crociani, a neurologist with offices in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, included allegations made by six patients over a 15-year period.
Prosecutors said Crociani benefited from overprescribing painkillers as part of their treatment and forcing them to have sex in order to get more medication.
In the months-long trial, Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucy described Crocciani before the jury as a “white-coat villain” and “a deceitful little man who could have used his very clever ways for good rather than evil.”
Crociani’s lawyers had planned to appeal the guilty verdict, saying last month that “in the end, it appears that the collective weight of the six defendants, rather than fair consideration of each of their problematic accounts, has carried the day.”
The Manhattan Attorney General’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.