'Dr. Zorro' Sentenced To Probation

zarkin dr zorro initials
AP
An obstetrician dubbed “Dr. Zorro”, because he carved his initials into a patient's abdomen, was sentenced to probation Tuesday in a deal that requires him to give up the practice of medicine.

Dr. Allan Zarkin, 61, was sentenced as part of a deal after he pleaded guilty in April to first-degree assault. The deal also requires him to see a psychiatrist twice a week.

Zarkin refused to comment as he left court, but his lawyer, Barry Fallick, claimed that a brain disorder called Pick's disease caused his client to cut his initials -- “AZ” -- into the abdomen of Dr. Liana Gedz after her cesarean section.

Fallick said the disease causes deterioration of the brain's frontal lobe, resulting in impaired judgment. “He suffers from a brain disorder that affects what he says and what he does,” the lawyer said.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Martha Bashford said Gedz, a dentist, and her family agreed to the five years probation. Zarkin would have faced a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if he had been convicted.

In February, Zarkin settled Gedz's $5 million lawsuit against him for $1.75 million. Around the same time, the state Health Department revoked the obstetrician's medical license, apparently without protest.

Zarkin declined to speak to the court when offered an opportunity just before State Supreme Court Justice Renee White sentenced him.

Asked outside court about Bashford's assertion that the physician feels no remorse for what he did to Gedz, Fallick said Zarkin “has expressed sorrow for his actions.”

Fallick said Zarkin now has to confront his illness, which probably will affect him the rest of his life. “He's never going to try to get a medical license again,” the lawyer said.