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.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.
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.
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.