BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Police have now charged a doctor at a major Boston hospital with sexually assaulting a female staffer. Those charges, filed less than ten days after an I-Team investigation last month. At that time we were told that the doctor was not disciplined and remained on staff. The hospital says he’s now on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case.
Doctor Raymond Malapero III could face up to five years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender if he is convicted of indecent assault and battery. Trish Powers with the Massachusetts Nurses Association told the I-team, “if he goes to trial here and justice is done he’ll be found guilty and lose his medical license as he should.”
Boston Police charged the cardio thoracic anesthesiologist with the sex assault after a female staffer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital told detectives that he grabbed her buttocks near an operating room.
In December, the alleged victim told a judge during a court hearing for a harassment protection order “I felt extremely unsafe. I don’t know if he’s gonna try to touch me again.” Malapero denied the claims in court.
The judge issued the harassment protection order against Malapero, telling him to stay away from the woman and limited his access at the hospital to two operating rooms, orders Trish Powers with the Nurses Union says he violated several times. “He was in the OR two days ago it’s disgusting. We have so many good people who work at the Brigham,” Powers says. “Why the administration has allowed this is baffling. Who’s’ protecting him that’s the question.”
When our story first aired last month, Brigham and Women’s told us Malapero remained on staff in the fellowship program.
Now, with Malapero facing serious criminal charges, a hospital spokesperson said: Immediately upon learning of the criminal complaint, the hospital placed Dr. Malapero on administrative leave pending the outcome of the matter.
Powers calls it too little too late, saying other women came forward to her with complaints about Malapero. “I know five who came to me, three went to human resources,” Powers said. “And they failed to do anything.”
When asked about that, a hospital spokesperson said, the hospital thoroughly investigates and addresses complaints of sexual, verbal or physical harassment. Anyone determined to be in violation of hospital policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Powers says more should have been done. “As a victim you speak up and still they don’t listen,” she said. “It’s just so wrong and so sad.”
Malapero’s attorney David Meier said he vigorously denies any wrongdoing and “The hospital carefully and thoroughly investigated these same allegations and found them to be without merit. I am confident that he will be totally vindicated when the truth comes out – which it will.”
Malapero is due back in court later this month.