HINGHAM - Twenty-two more patients have now come forward to accuse retired Norwell pediatricianof sexual abuse.
Kauff pleaded not guilty in Hingham District Court Monday to four counts of rape and 12 counts of indecent assault and battery after two women accused him of assaulting them during their annual checkups when they were pediatric patients at South Shore Medical Center.
"To a higher number, to 24 here on the day of the arraignment. I think what it shows is that there's obviously been a breach of trust between a doctor and a patient's relationship and that to me is something where when you go to the doctor you expect to be treated as a patient, as somebody who's looking to get the help that you need. So it's very disturbing," said Plymouth District Attorney Tim Cruz.
During the hearing, the prosecution said that two of the 24 patients are still minors and that they're not sure if the number of accusations will continue to grow. They all alleged similar details of invasive exams over a period of several years.
"I think it's always courageous to come forward especially after an extended period of time," Cruz said. "It's something they've been fighting for an extended period of time in their lives and questioning it."
The investigation started when two women connected in a Facebook group and questioned whether or not their exams during their annual physicals were normal.
The two said that Kauff performed invasive vaginal exams beginning when they were eight-years-old and continued until they were 18 or 19.
"He would tell her it would be uncomfortable and it might quote 'feel like a rocket ship,'" prosecutor Jeremy Beth Kusmin said in court Monday. "Victim number 2 was the person who authored the original Facebook post anonymously. She made the Facebook post after discussing how she felt uncomfortable about her visits with the defendant to her therapist. And her therapist told her this behavior was not normal and to contact the police."
The women told investigators that if their parents were in the room during the exams the doctor would shield them from view.
Kauff was released on $50,000 bail and had no comment as he left court Monday afternoon. He will not be required to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet. He was ordered to stay away from the alleged victims and he cannot have any unsupervised contact with any children under the age of 16, including his four-month-old grandson.
"He has been out and about for a month with this weight on his shoulders," said Kauff's defense attorney, Kelli Porges. "He's here with his wife and there's no reason to strap this man with a GPS device."
Kauff is due back in court January 11, 2024.
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