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There's a potentially horrific story coming out of Baltimore.  Earlier this month, Johns Hopkins Medicine learned that Nikita Levy, a gynecologist at East Baltimore Medical Center, was taking pictures and videos of his patients without their knowledge.  Johns Hopkins fired Levy on February 8 and called in the Baltimore Police Department.  Yesterday, after police served a search warrant on his house, Levy committed suicide.

Hospital security was alerted on Feb. 4  by another staff member that Levy was using personal video equipment to tape his patients. Police are now trying to determine if others were involved.

A spokesperson for Johns Hopkins says Levy was let go from the staff earlier this month.

Police believe there were a large number of victims. Levy saw around 1,000 patients since getting his medical license in 1988.

Under the circumstances, Baltimore police are falling all over themselves to track down potential victims.  Investigators are already concerned that that Levy may have posted some of those videos online--apparently several sickos masquerading as doctors also videotape their patients and post them on the Internet.  And there are even fears that some of Levy's victims may have been underage.  Federal authorities have already been called in.

Levy's patients first got word something was amiss when Hopkins sent them a letter telling them that Levy was no longer employed there.  But the letter didn't give any details--and unless Hopkins was legally barred from doing so, that is completely inexcusable.

The Baltimore Police Department has set up a hotline for Levy's patients to call in if they believe he videotaped them.  That number is 410-396-2269.  More than 300 patients have already called in.

Hundreds of lawsuits are potentially in the offing here.  Jonathan Schochtor, a lawyer who represented many victims in the Earl Bradley case in Delaware, has already been retained by several of Levy's patients and thinks Hopkins bears at least some responsibility for missing potential red flags on Levy's part.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, to say the least.

Originally posted to House of LIGHTS on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:56 PM PST.

Also republished by Maryland Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  On a Creepy scale of 1 to 10 (12+ / 0-)

    That's an 11!

    Sheesh!

    "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

    by Inventor on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:06:31 PM PST

    •  far from that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, FG, tommymet

      there are way creepier guys than this hapless fool. He had some compulsion that was a source of shame as well as excitement, and his victims didn't know they were victims, which is way less creepy than having victims forced to be in on it.

      I feel bad for this guy, he was unable to control himself, temptation won out and shame killed him, and I hope if there are any others out (as if it's possible there aren't) reading about him and fearing for their own futures, that they will speak with a lawyer before they're found out.  A confession, a plea bargain and getting help is no doubt better than shame and suicide.  

      "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

      by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:30:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is on a parr with that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumbi, irishwitch

      gynecologist who impregnated all of the women with his own sperm years back.....

  •  It's tragic for the victims. (4+ / 0-)

    But are they entitled to large sums of money from Hopkins? Money that should go toward patient care, medical research, and physician education? I sure hope not. How were they supposed to know that they had a sicko working for them?

    •  I personally doubt it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumbi, irishwitch

      Though you have to wonder why Hopkins didn't tell the patients more details sooner.  Seems to me they ought to know that their doctor was a perv.

      The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

      by Christian Dem in NC on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:42:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  why tragic? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, glorificus, dougymi

      I don't get why it's tragic. It's creepy, but really any good looking young woman walking down any public street with be the 'victim' of some unwanted  visual lust, which is also creepy. This is a crime, for sure, and it's by a person one would hope could hide his lust and chose to be professional.  

      some male gynecologists used to be jokes to their female patients, some of them would be so serious while holding forth on something, fully clothed while the woman is in some state of undress, as if she's not supposed to notice that it's no longer necessary (Or she could choose to get dressed in front of him, which might also be his fantasy, or choose to let him know she thinks he's weird, and that one is hard for most women, when interacting with their doctors.)   That's why there are now far more female gynecologists and why  a female nurse has to be in the room with him.  

      "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

      by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:46:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I assume that his videos show the (4+ / 0-)

        women's faces as well as the rest of their bodies. Those images becoming public is what I referred to as tragic. If the images are just of unidentifiable genitalia, or if the images remain out of the public eye, then I agree that the damage to these women is pretty minimal.

        •  That's what I was thinking too (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glorificus, irishwitch

          That and the prospect that there may have been minors among the victims.  If even ONE is involved, that's enough to call it tragic.

          The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

          by Christian Dem in NC on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:52:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it's a weird story (0+ / 0-)

            but one would assume no more showed in the video he made than he saw in person.  If it's not tragic for a minor to get an medical examination by a doctor who is discreet about his pleasure in looking at young bodies, because for sure some doctors like to see naked young women and some will even be child pornography consumers, than it's not tragic for someone's creepy doctor to have a video, other than that the police will look at it, and that does makes it creepier.  We've all seen those TV shows where the cops enjoy watching someone's home-made porn a little too much.  So, in that case I get it, it's not just the dead doctor, it's all the cops, in which case the dead doctor has saved his victims more unwanted ogling by offing himself and making a trial unnecessary.

            but if it were me, I'd prefer the tapes to be destroyed rather than having them watched by various cops, just so I could know for sure that they guy had taped me.  

            You know, on the scale of what happens to women, this is very low rent.  

            "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

            by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:05:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You just don't get it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elmo

              When you strip for a gynie exam--you don't risk images of your naked body and you face being posted on the Internet,.  I suspect most men who view those videos won't know that woman did not consent.   And for that matter, a good gyn may be aroused by the sight of an attractive woman--but he doesn't give into it.  It's called being a professional. If he hadn't offed himself--which tells us he knew what he did was wrong and didn't wnat others to know about i, but likely only because he knew he faced jailtime--YES, I'd want any videos of me identified because I'd want him to do some hard time for violating my privacyand then I'd sue his ass off,

              It owuldn't have been the average cop in the street looking at those videos, but more likely the oens who handle sex crimes. I knew soem of them years ago, and they were pretty decent men and women--and itmight bypass the cops and go to the prosecutors office. It was the prosecutors we had more iussues with when I was a volunteer rape crisis cousnelor.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:41:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no one else viewed them (0+ / 0-)

                but the voyeur, although now cops have. I wish they'd restrict viewing to women cops with at least ten years experience.  And tell the women in the videos that guys weren't allowed to watch the evidence.  I forgot it isn't just cops, there is the prosecution, and the defense, but not this time, this time it could just be civil, the voyeur  is dead so there can be no prosecution.  .    

                "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

                by anna shane on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:33:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't unheard of (3+ / 0-)

      nor untoward to sue the employer of a doctor who commits basic malpractice much less multiple felonies of sexual abuse of patients.  

      Would you have a problem if Bank of America was sued for the malfeasance of one of their agents?

      Please look up the law of agency.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:54:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anyone can sue. This is the USA, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anna shane

        where someone has to pay for any wrong that is committed. I just don't see where Hopkins is culpable here, other than that they were unlucky in having this guy on staff.

      •  Can they prove the crime without conviction? (0+ / 0-)

        Kenneth Lay was innocent of the crimes against him as he died while on appeal, Skilling has lived through his, so he was guilty.

        This "man" now can never be legally convicted of his crimes.

        •  In Connecticut (5+ / 0-)

          we had a case of a stash of child porno found in the wall of a house where a pediatrician had lived -- he'd been dead for over a decade.  The victims sued the hospital and the hospital finally settled with 33 of them.  There were thousands of victims so I don't know if they all were identified.

          If one works for an institution and the institution benefits from that person's work, liability can attach.

          " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:16:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Settling doesn't equate to liability though (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anna shane, LilithGardener

            It can simply be a cost/benefit analysis. Figuring the costs of a prolonged legal process trying to defend yourself; along with the "costs" to institutional reputation as the case drags through the media ( a highly likely prospect given the circumstances of this example)

            "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

            by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:28:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  wow (0+ / 0-)

            does that mean that the employers are forever liable for their past employees crimes, or does it mean that they settled, because it was cheaper than a trial?  Someone I don't think he filmed his child pornography in that hospital, so this outcoome is, on the surface, troubling.  

            "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

            by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:32:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Statutes of limitations (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              anna shane

              Will cut off liability, generally after 10 years--intentional torts are generally 3, med mal is typically 3 from the date of injury or 1 from the date of discovery but no more than 10-15.

              Child sex abuse is a special case though, because most states toll the statute until the child turns 18, e.g., three years from the day the victim turns 18. So in practive, those claims can survive much longer than most other tort claims.

              •  as it should be (0+ / 0-)

                but the idea that you can employ someone who had a child porn collection and can have to pay, seems quite odd.  Who were his victims - surely not just anyone who had any contact with that doctor?  

                "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

                by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:03:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  He can't be found guilty of a crime. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch

          Bit his estate can still be liable at tort.

    •  Maybe use some of those "large sums of money" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch

      to prevent similar sickos from succeeding in their obsessions?

      As to your last question - maybe pay attention?

      *There are two sides to every horseshit.* Kos

      by glorificus on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:02:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Similar sick ob-gyns who photograph their (0+ / 0-)

        patients? You think this is a widespread problem that society needs to address, or a random case of a weirdo who got through the system?

        •  of course it's wide spread (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, glorificus

          there was a time that porn was impossible to get, in the 50's and earlier, highly illegal, and because it was expensive to produce, it wasn't widespread. Enter the video camera and maybe every other loving couple makes home porn, and when they fall out of love, the guy will sometimes post on the net, so much so that that isn't even shocking anymore, so much is out there.  used to be voyeurs had to be peeping toms, but...

          enter the cell phone with video features and voilia, it's wide spread.  

          "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

          by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:36:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not amongst board certified ob-gyns. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch

            That's why this story is getting media attention. Because it is so unusual. You are comparing this unusual criminal behavior with pornography, which is only legal if the participants are willing. Those are two very different things.

            •  he was caught (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              glorificus

              that's what makes it unusual, it hasn't been so long that you could use a cell phone to take video. You can bet that many men who have access to undressed women are at least tempted to use their cell phones, and are stopped mainly because they recognize it's weird and they don't want to get caught.

              There will be more.  There probably are more, that have been settled out of the public eye.  There are probably rules in the making to keep cell phones and undressed patients far apart.  

              "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

              by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:52:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, in a nation of 350 million there (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irishwitch

                will be some other doctor or two who is this strange. But it is hardly a widespread problem within the gynecological fraternity.

                •  you sound like a guy? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  glorificus

                  not to be insulting, but until decent men realize they can't tell what drives their fellow-fellows who on the surface seem the same, then they won't be suspicious enough to accept it, that their highly respected colleague isn't to be blindly trusted with their young daughter. I can't trust any man, and the only man you can trust is you.  Which doesn't make me paranoid, only realistic.

                  "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

                  by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:00:16 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You can't trust any woman either. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sparhawk

                    Statistics tell us that some portion of humanity is twisted. I know you gals think it's only guys that are nutso, but alas that is not the case.

                    •  it's a statistic (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      glorificus

                      it's not an opinion.  And it's not nutso, it's perversion, child molesters, rapists, peeping toms, nearly all of them are males.

                      Criminals too, most criminals are males and most female criminals were assisting a fellow.  

                      Just the facts.  

                      "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

                      by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:17:40 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

                        That's a pretty twisted view of things, not going to lie.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:05:53 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  it's evidence based (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          glorificus

                          probably something to do with testosterone?  

                          Which does not make all men perverts, or even guys who'll take advantage if they think they can get away with it, just, makes no sense to blindly trust a man or a woman, just because they're board certified.  

                          "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

                          by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:41:28 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            irishwitch, anna shane

                            You have to run the numbers, as you say.

                            How many board-certified ob-gyn are there? A lot (comparatively). How many incidences of this type? One? Two? You shouldn't trust 'blindly', but the numbers say you're in far, far more danger driving to the doctor than when you're there (unless you're there for a reason that is 'known to be dangerous' like a life threatening condition).

                            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                            by Sparhawk on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:52:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  these people (0+ / 0-)

                            weren't in any physical danger, there had to have been a female nurse in the office with him and his patients, and no one knew he was filming at the time.  You're in actual danger when driving, which is why we are supposed to drive defensively.  

                            "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

                            by anna shane on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:27:26 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  pornography is sometimes legal (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              glorificus

              but, not always. Child pornography isn't legal, and this kind of tape used for sexual stimulation isn't legal.  

              We all like think that there are professions that are immune from such inappropriate and sad lust, but none are.  

              "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

              by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:54:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I think there is more than one who does it, (0+ / 0-)

          and based on history, doctors are about as good at policing their own as bankers.

          Like cops, doctors do not rat out their own.

          *There are two sides to every horseshit.* Kos

          by glorificus on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:33:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  My fiancee (3+ / 0-)

    prefers female gynecologists.

    Although, not the least bit less creepy if "she's" using video equipment.

    Ew, just ewwww.

    We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

    by Patriot4peace on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 03:53:12 PM PST

    •  just statistically speaking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, concernedamerican

      nearly all perv's are men, somewhere in the 99th percentile, so women have a great chance that our female gynecologists aren't interested in jerking off to secretly recorded images of our bodies.  

      "oh no, not four more years of hope and change?" Karl Christian Rove

      by anna shane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:39:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, I have no problem with this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby, anna shane

        My wife also prefers a female gyno.  I don't have any problem with it.   When one of the potential urologists I was going to see about 2 years ago was a woman, my wife nicely asked "wouldn't you be more comfortable with a male doctor".

        I have to admit, I didn't really care either way, but I got where she was coming from

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:49:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As a Baltimore suburbanite (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, irishwitch

    Hopkins is really screwing things up the last few years in terms of their Ob/Gyn situation.

    compassion for things i'll never know ~ david byrne

    by little lion on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:08:51 PM PST

  •  I couldn't read through all the comments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo

    because I've had a couple of bad ob/gyn experiences, one at Johns Hopkins. Thank God it wasn't the same dr. or I would have lost it.

    I had stage 4 cervical precancer at 35 and went through two years of colposcopies, biopsies, pap smears with a cutterage blade and 3 LEEP procedures to remove the precancerous lesions. It would have been very easy for this Dr. to have had a video camera in the exam room, they are built into much of the equipment they used to perform all these procedures on me. I even got to see the inside of my vagina and my cervix up close and personal on a tv monitor (it was actually pretty cool!) But one of the gynecological oncologists that I saw at hopkins actually told me how pretty my lady parts were. Now, by this point in my treatment, I had no modesty whatsoever..."yeah, you want to get a look at this lesion on my cervical canal that refuses to go away too? Sure, the more's the merrier!" But this was different, it was creepy and it was meant to be creepy. But it stopped short of crossing any line, I had really nothing substantial to complain about. But I know what I felt and I told my (now ex) husband, he poo poo'd me too, but I sure as hell never went back to that doctor and I ditched the husband too.

    "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

    by mindara on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 06:40:12 PM PST

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