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New York doctor accused of sexual abuse
01:34 - Source: WPIX

Story highlights

David Newman, 45, is accused of sexually abusing two patients

Newman is a prominent emergency room doctor and Iraq war veteran

Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan is cooperating with investigators, statement says

New York CNN  — 

A prominent New York doctor and Iraq war veteran is being accused of sexually abusing at least two of his patients, according to a criminal complaint.

David Newman, 45, director of clinical research in emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, was arrested Tuesday and accused of drugging, groping and masturbating on a female patient on January 12, the complaint said. He’s also accused of groping another patient in September.

A self-described proponent of health care reform and author of a book about repairing the “patient-doctor breach,” Newman was charged with first-and third-degree sexual abuse and forcible touching, the complaint said.

Newman – who served as a major in the U.S. Army Reserves at a combat hospital in Baghdad, according to his website – was ordered held on $150,000 bond, or $50,000 cash. His lawyer did not respond to a call seeking comment.

Defense attorney John Wing described Newman as a “good man and excellent doctor,” NBC 4 New York reported.

“We plan on dealing with this in a responsible manner,” Wing told the station.

In a statement, Mount Sinai Hospital said it was investigating the charges and “fully cooperating” with authorities. Newman has been suspended.

“We take this matter very seriously,” the statement said. “During this time the physician is not providing any medical services at Mount Sinai. The health and safety of our patients are of our utmost concern.”

What the complaint says

The first attack allegedly occurred on the early morning of January 12. A 29-year-old patient told investigators the doctor gave her morphine even though she had received a dose of the drug from a nurse, according to the complaint.

The woman told investigators “she felt a burning sensation, felt very drowsy, and her eyes closed,” the complaint said. She told investigators she heard Newman masturbating and felt him ejaculating on her. She said she was unable to move or communicate, according to the complaint.

On September 22, Newman allegedly groped a 22-year-old woman who went to Mount Sinai Hospital with a cold, police said. Newman allegedly grabbed her breasts under her shirt, according to the complaint.

Newman is the author of “Hippocrates’ Shadow,” which says the doctor “sees a lack of candid communication between doctors and patients, a disregard for the healing power of the doctor-patient bond … and, ultimately, a disconnect between doctors and their Hippocratic Oath,” according to the back cover. It was first published in 2008.

CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz and Haimy Assefa contributed to this report.