Friday, February 22, 2013
Nearly 100 women, fearing that a black gynecologist secretly videotaped and photographed them, have contacted police, and some potential victims reached out to private attorneys contemplating legal action
Police have revealed that at least some of the images were captured with a camera hidden in the top of a pen, and authorities were exploring whether the recordings had been distributed. The black doctor, Nikita A. Levy, was found dead of an apparent suicide. Police are treating the case as an open criminal investigation, and the Johns Hopkins board of trustees has opened a separate inquiry. The extent of the legal fallout remains to be seen. Whether Hopkins, insurers or others could be held liable for the black doctor's actions depends on whether there is any evidence of negligence, according to legal experts. And claims of privacy breaches may hinge on whether the women can be identified in the images and what they show, the experts said. Baltimore police are seeking to interview patients who saw Levy over more than two decades. He practiced gynecology and obstetrics through a Hopkins network of physicians, mainly at the East Baltimore Medical Center, a community clinic near Johns Hopkins Hospital. He had worked for Hopkins since 1988, the same year he received his Maryland medical license. A colleague reported the allegations to Hopkins officials on February 4, 2013 and Levy was let go February 8, 2013 according to the hospital. Officers had been scheduled to meet with Levy in the week after his dismissal, but he did not show up, city police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. Before they could reschedule, he was found dead in his Towson home, Guglielmi said. An autopsy has been performed on Levy's body, but the cause and manner of death had not yet been determined, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Cathleen Batton said. Baltimore police uncovered what they called an "extraordinary" amount of evidence at Levy's Towson home but would not say when the search occurred. Police are working with federal officials to analyze the evidence, Guglielmi said.