From The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Staff Reports | Updated: February 20, 2018 — 8:00 PM ESTA former Drexel University neurologist who was sentenced to probation last year in Philadelphia for molesting female patients was taken into custody Tuesday by New York police to face charges that he repeatedly sexually assaulted a woman there for years.
The New York Post reported that an arrest warrant was issued in Manhattan for Ricardo Cruciani and he was expected to be extradited back to New York for an arraignment Wednesday. The Post did not report where Cruciani was arrested.
Cruciani, 63, of Wynnewood, was facing multiple counts of rape and other sex crimes he allegedly committed against a 45-year-old woman who had called a sexual-abuse hotline and reported that Cruciani assaulted her between 2005 and 2012, the Associated Press reported.
Cruciani in November pleaded guilty in Philadelphia Municipal Court to three counts of indecent assault and four counts of harassment by unwanted physical contact for acts he committed against seven women.
Philadelphia police arrested Cruciani in September, six months after Drexel fired him from his position as chairman of the neurology department of its College of Medicine. Cruciani’s medical license was suspended in October.
The Associated Press last year reported that at least 17 women in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey had stepped forward to accuse Cruciani of sexual misconduct dating back at least a dozen years.
There’s more at the original, but the obvious question is: why was Dr Cruciani allowed to make a plea bargain arrangement which sentenced him only to probation for “three counts of indecent assault and four counts of harassment by unwanted physical contact for acts he committed against seven women?” Did prosecutors not have enough evidence to make them confident they could win a conviction in a jury trial? Or did they have the evidence, but simply accepted a plea bargain suggested by a defense attorney to keep his client out of prison? According to Philadelphia Magazine:
Cruciani pleaded guilty to seven counts against him, including indecent assault, in a plea deal negotiated by Cruciani’s high-priced Dilworth Paxson attorney. In exchange for his plea, he was sentenced to seven years of probation, and he has to register as a Tier I sex offender, which is the least serious of the three sex offender tiers.
The judge even allowed his probation to begin a week later, so he could fly to Buenos Aires for his daughter’s wedding!
The cynic in me says, ‘Well, the court knew that he was also facing charged in New York and New Jersey, so they allowed the Empire State to bear the costs of incarcerating him.’ That’s not the worst logic, I suppose, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll be convicted and draw jail time in either of those states.
But to allow him to leave the country? That was just insane! Dr Cruciani is 63 years old, and depending upon the charges in other states, might spend the rest of his life behind bars. He had to be considered a flight risk. While every country in Latin America other than Cuba has an extradition treaty with the United States, had Dr Cruciani managed to flee Argentina for Bolivia, Ecuador or Venezuela, those countries already have a history of denying American requests for extradition. Dr Cruciani received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine, so he’s obviously fluent in Spanish and knows the area; Argentina might decline to extradite one of its former nationals. That he returned to the United States to face justice is amazing.
Courts and prosecutors have to start getting tough on criminals. To have allowed this scumbag even the chance to escape, to have sentenced him to probation, makes a mockery of any concept of justice.