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Doctor Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Patient During Exam

On Monday, a Berwyn doctor was found guilty of sexually assaulting one of his patients while examining the woman for cold symptoms, the Chicago Tribune reports.

According to the Cook County state's attorney's office, many other patients of 53-year-old Ricardo Arze have reported similar experiences. Arze is also facing a separate charge for practicing medicine after his license had been suspended.

In 2005, the 48-year-old victim visited Arze’s office after experiencing flu-like symptoms. During her examination, the victim was reportedly sexually assaulted. The patient later reported the incident to the authorities and testified through a translator at the trial.

An investigation uncovered many other patients who shared similar experiences. Police first charged Arze with battery in 2007, after he allegedly fondled one of his patients. Prosecutors have filed charges regarding 15 other victims who claim to have been sexually assaulted or inappropriately touched by Arze.

Under Illinois’ criminal code, a person commits criminal sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration through the use of force, knowing that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent, or while holding a position of trust or authority in relation to the victim. As a physician, Arze likely held a position of trust or authority over his patients that he reportedly exploited. Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 felony.

Ricardo Arze is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4 for the sexual assault conviction. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

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