Hopewell Neurologist Facing Second Degree Sexual Assault & Fourth Degree Criminal Sexual Contact Charges in Mercer County
Ricardo Cruciani, 63-year-old former neurologist who practiced in Hopewell Township, has been accused of abusing his patients for years. He is finally being called to answer for those crimes. In late 2017, Cruciani pleaded guilty to groping women at a Philadelphia clinic. That guilty plea prompted some New Jersey victims to come forward. Accordingly, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office this week indicted Cruciani on eight counts ofsecond degree sexual assault and seven counts of fourth degree criminal sexual contact. His crimes involved seven female patients over a two-year time period.
In addition, Cruciani is facing charges in New York for repeatedly raping a patient over the course of eight years in New York City, and sexually assaulting other women. Over the last 12 years, at least 17 women in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania have accused Cruciani of sexual misconduct. Cruciani’s medical license was revoked in late 2017.Sexual Assault in Mercer County
Sexual Assault – statutory elements. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c), a person is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person, and one of the following circumstances is present:
- Force or coercion : The actor used force or coercion, and the victim did not sustain severe personal injury.
- Victim under supervision : The victim is on probation or parole, or is detained in a hospital, prison or other institution; and the actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor’s legal, professional or occupational status.
- Victim between 16 and 18 years old . The victim is at least 16 but less than 18 years old, and the actor (i) is related to the victim by blood; (ii) has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim; or (iii) is a caregiver or guardian of the victim.
- Victim between 13 and 16 years old . The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old, and the actor is at least 4 years older than the victim.
Sexual Assault – definition. The definition of the term “sexual penetration” is important for understanding the crime of sexual assault. “Sexual penetration” means vaginal intercourse, oral or anal intercourse, or insertion of a finger or other object into the anus or vagina of a person. The amount of insertion, however slight, constitutes penetration.
Sexual Assault – someone under 13 years old. It is also considered sexual assault, under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(b), if a person commits an act of sexual contact with a victim who is less than 13 years old, and the actor is at least four years older than the victim. It is important to note that only sexual contact, not sexual penetration, is required for this type of sexual assault. “Sexual contact” means touching, directly or through clothing, the intimate parts (e.g., sexual organs, genital area) of a person.
Sexual Assault – penalties. Sexual assault is second-degree crime, which carries a penalty of 5 to 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $150,000. In addition, a conviction for sexual assault may likely include registration requirements under Megan’s Law, which could last well beyond other punishments imposed for the offense.Mercer County Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers
The former neurologist Cruciani may likely be facing consecutive sentences for sexual assault if found guilty, given that there were multiple victims. For cases as serious as Cruciani’s, or for any sexual offense charge, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have the trial experience, the legal acumen, and the skill to defend you against such serious charges. Learn more about what the Marshall Firm can do for you by calling our offices today at (609) 683-8102. Expert lawyers are available to speak with you at your earliest convenience