Gynecologist Hid Camera During Exams; Johns Hopkins Doctor Has Killed Himself

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 10:10 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Johns Hopkins Hospital gynecologist who was being accused of secretly videotaping patients with a hidden camera during exams was found dead in his home of an apparent suicide last week.

Police say Dr. Nikita Levy, 54, killed himself in his Towson, Md., home on Feb. 18 after his patient spying came undone when one of his employees went to Johns Hopkins administrators with her suspicions.

The employee told the Baltimore hospital's officials Feb. 4 that she believed the doctor was secretly filming patients with a camera concealed in a pen he wore around his neck, according to a letter from the hospital's CEO, Dr. Paul B. Rothman. The letter, dated Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press, was sent to the law firm of Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White, which is working with the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center to investigate the claim.

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"That's a violation," Tasha Bynam, a former patient of Levy's, told CBS Baltimore. "You got somebody that you're supposed to trust with your body, your information, which is supposed to be confidential."

Rothman wrote that hospital security questioned Levy at his office on Feb. 5 and noticed a pen-like device similar to the one the employee described in the office and on Levy's person. The doctor was barred from any patient contact that day, then was fired and escorted off hospital grounds. The police were notified and, in their investigation, reportedly uncovered large amounts of multimedia evidence.

"We determined that Dr. Levy had been illegally and without our knowledge, photographing his patients and possibly others with his personal photographic and video equipment and storing those images electronically," read a Feb. 18 statement from Johns Hopkins. "Any invasion of patient privacy is intolerable. Words cannot express how deeply sorry we are for every patient whose privacy may have been violated."

More than 2,000 patients and former patients of Levy have called a hotline set up by the hospital, and some have filed class-action lawsuits against Johns Hopkins, police said. The Maryland Board of Physicians said Levy had no known prior disciplinary actions against him.

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Over the summer, a similar incident occurred involving Manhattan urologist Adam Levinson. The doctor, who is also an award-winning surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital and an assistant professor of urology at the hospital's medical school, was arrested in August for allegedly taking "upskirt" photos of women on the subway with a camera concealed in a pen. The case has not been presented to a grand jury yet.

Related stories:

Calif. Doctor Accused of Selling Synthetic Heroin at Starbucks

Texas Doctor Accused of Huge Health Fraud Scheme

'Catch Me If You Can': Australian Teen Accused of Posing as Doctor

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