PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A Pennsylvania woman claims in court that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by her doctor, who is accused of using hypnosis to lure her into submission during a routine checkup.
The lawsuit filed Friday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas alleges a physician recommended by a University of Pennsylvania-affiliated hospital used “hypnosis and/or short-acting medication to sedate” the woman during her first appointment in his office.
The osteopathic physician took advantage of his patient’s altered state to “’massage’ [her] upper body in an inappropriate and sexually charged manner,” according to the complaint, all the while telling her to allow herself to feel relaxed and to “just let yourself feel, don’t resist it.”
The doctor, Leonard Rosenfeld, also induced her to massage his groin area, according to the plaintiff, who will not be named by Courthouse News because she is an alleged victim of sexual assault.
“Without obtaining any form of permission from [her], [the doctor] sedated, hypnotized and otherwise used his influence…and placed [her] in a trance-like state of reduced alertness and reduced self-control,” the lawsuit states.
The alleged victim claims she found Rosenfeld’s behavior unorthodox from the outset, beginning with his asking her to remove her shirt for her checkup without giving her a hospital gown to cover herself up.
Particularly strange, she says, was the lack of a female nurse in the examination room and the fact that the doctor had allegedly waited until his office was mostly deserted to see the woman two hours past her scheduled appointment time.
But she says she believed he was on the level because he was referred to her by a staff member at Penn Medicine, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Penn Medicine is named as a defendant in the case, along with Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Having complied with Rosenfeld’s orders due to her temporarily altered mental state, the plaintiff alleges she came away “humiliated and degraded” by his behavior, “as if his conduct was acceptable because of their relative positions.”
Even worse, according to the lawsuit, both the doctor and his office manager volunteered to write the woman a prescription for pain medication when she later reported the alleged assault, as if such an offer “was the ‘go-to’ solution when addressing this type of patient complaint.”
“All you guys want the same thing…pills,” Rosenfeld allegedly said the day before as she prepared to leave her appointment.
Included as an exhibit in the lawsuit is a statement from another female patient with whom the plaintiff chatted in the waiting room, who allegedly wrote that the doctor “kept rubbing his privates on [her] hands.”
Rosenfeld is accused of battery, medical negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and failure to obtain informed consent.
His office did not return a message left with his answering service on Tuesday evening requesting comment.
The complaint alleges the doctor and Penn Medicine are jointly and severally liable for the plaintiff’s damages, as she says she “placed a high degree of trust” in the doctor’s practice because it bore “a prestigious imprimatur like ‘Penn Medicine.’”
A Penn Medicine spokesperson said in an emailed statement that Rosenfeld is “an independent, private practice physician who is not employed by Penn Presbyterian Medical Center or Penn Medicine.”
The doctor is listed as a provider on Penn Medicine’s website.
The plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount of punitive damages. She is represented by Philadelphia attorneys Jared Jacobson and Franklin Rooks Jr.