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Doctor Previously Convicted Of Sexually Assaulting Patients Charged With Rape

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York neurologist previously convicted of sexually assaulting patients has been arrested again.

Dr. Ricardo Cruciani is accused of sexually abusing six female patients under his care at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital starting in 2013.

He pleaded not guilty to multiple sex abuse charges, including rape, Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court and was released after posting bond.

Prosecutors allege Cruciani, who specialized in rare and complicated syndromes that cause debilitating pain, was supposed to be treating women for their chronic discomfort when he instead assaulted them with forceful kissing, groping and non-consensual intercourse. 

Manhattan prosecutors began investigating Cruciani after a former patient called the district attorney's sex crime hotline. Patients said they felt they had no choice but to continue seeing Cruciani, because he was one of the very few doctors who could treat their rare conditions.

This isn't the first time the disgraced doctor has been accused of sex crimes.

Last November in Philadelphia, Cruciani pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven patients while he was chairman of Drexel University's neurology department. He reached a plea deal, was sentenced to seven years of probation and had his medical license revoked.

More than 17 women in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct.

He was released Wednesday after posting $1 million bond.

In a statement to CBS2, Mount Sinai said it is "aware of the criminal charges that have been filed by the Manhattan District Attorney against Dr. Ricardo Cruciani, a neurologist previously employed by Beth Israel Medical Center prior to the hospital becoming part of the Mount Sinai Health System."

"Dr. Cruciani's employment with Beth Israel Medical Center ended in 2014," the statement continued. "We are deeply disturbed to learn about these charges and have been working closely with the investigation being led by the District Attorney's office.  The Mount Sinai Health System is committed to a safe environment for all patients, faculty, staff, students, trainees and visitors."

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