Prosecutors say a New York City doctor was accused Monday in the alleged sexual abuse of at least six women, including many patients who were drugged, recorded, and attacked during sessions at a famous local hospital.
Zhi Alan Cheng was charged on Monday with sexually abusing three of his patients at New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital and raping three other women inside his Queens, New York flat. He entered a not guilty plea to the allegations.
The hospital fired the 33-year-old doctor in December after he was arrested for allegedly raping a female acquaintance in his Queens home. The woman told authorities at the time that she had uncovered footage of Cheng abusing her and other women.
According to the latest charge, as detectives searched his house and gadgets, they discovered a plethora of video evidence showing the doctor abusing women inside his home and business.
Prosecutors said the video showed Cheng touching three hospital patients, including a 19-year-old and a “seriously ill” 47-year-old. According to court filings, all of the ladies seemed to be unconscious during the incident, implying Cheng used anaesthesia to sedate them.
According to court filings, multiple forms of liquid anaesthesia were seized from his house, as well as recreational opiates such as cocaine and ecstasy.
Cheng’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said the evidence pointed to “a serial rapist, someone willing to not only violate his sacred professional oath and patients’ trust, but every standard of human decency.”
The arrest comes on the heels of the sentencing of another NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital system doctor, Robert Hadden, a gynaecologist who allegedly molested 245 women over the course of two decades. In June, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Cheng’s claimed abuse occurred during a relatively shorter time span, between 2021 and 2022. However, prosecutors claimed they have more evidence that Cheng assaulted other women in New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Thailand, though he has not been prosecuted in those crimes.
New York-Presbyterian spokesperson Angela Karafazi called Cheng’s alleged behaviour “a fundamental betrayal of our mission and our patients’ trust.”
She stated that the hospital aims to evaluate its patient safety protocols and provide further training to all personnel.