Prosecutors and witnesses told jurors during the trial that Mr. Cruciani’s advances often began gradually. He would tightly embrace patients or run his fingers through their hair. But over time, his behavior escalated: the doctor groped women, kissed them without permission, and forced them to perform sex acts or have intercourse, prosecutors said.
The reports of Mr. Cruciani’s misbehavior date back more than 15 years. Sexual contact between a physician and a patient is explicitly forbidden by medical ethics. But administrators at several hospitals ignored reports of misconduct against Mr. Cruciani, who is from Pennsylvania, and allowed him to quietly assume new roles in other postings or states, according to accusations in several lawsuits.
He was arrested in 2017 on charges that included indecent assault and indecent exposure. But he avoided jail time after reaching a plea deal that required him to surrender his medical license and register as a low-level sex offender.
At his trial in Manhattan, prosecutors told jurors that it was time to finally hold the physician accountable. Over the years, prosecutors said, he followed a similar pattern in each abuse case: He crafted personal bonds with his patients, questioning them about their upbringings, relationships and personal lives, and then would begin to sexually assault them.
As patients returned, he increased their dosages or began prescribing new medications, and became more brazen in his behavior, prosecutors said.
Some of his patients developed drug addictions. One woman told The New York Times last year, for example, that as her dependency on the medications grew, Mr. Cruciani became more forceful, groping her, masturbating in rooms with her and forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
In his closing arguments, Mr. Sosinsky, the defense lawyer for Mr. Cruciani, argued that his accusers were unreliable, The Associated Press reported. “You should have every reason to doubt these accusations,” Mr. Sosinsky told jurors.