Thursday, February 09, 2017

Class action lawsuit filed against former Joplin pediatric surgeon facing child pornography charges

A class action lawsuit against former Joplin pediatric surgeon Guy
Rosenschein has been filed by a Sante Fe, New Mexico attorney on behalf of a parent and a legal guardian of children who were treated by Rosenschein. The lawsuit, which was filed in Second Judicial District court in Bernalillo County, also lists Rosenschein's former employer Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque, as a defendant.

Rosenschein, who appears to have left Joplin in 2013 to take a position at Presbyterian, faces federal child pornography charges. His trial was scheduled to start this week in U. S. District Court for New Mexico.

The petition notes that law enforcement officers found photos of children taken in a medical setting, taken on the type of iPhone that did not exist before 2014 among Rosenschein's possessions, which would indicate the photos were taken at Presbyterian.
According to the petition, "when he examined patients, he made inappropriate remarks about the size of children's genitals, which is further proof that he was viewing the children through the eyes of a pedophile, rather than as a physician."

The petition also noted the child pornography that was found in his possession, the undressed teenage boy who was in his bed when law enforcement arrived to execute a search warrant at his home, and his admission to officers that he was attracted to younger boys.

The four-count lawsuit alleges invasion or privacy, lack of informed consent, intentional infliction of emotional distress and charges the hospital with "negligent hiring, retention, supervising, and credentialing."

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $25,000 in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages, costs, and expenses.

They are asking for a jury trial.

From the petition:

On or about November 7, 2016, a detective of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office obtained a search warrant to search Dr. Rosenschein’s residence. Upon searching the residence, the detective found a 16-year-old boy in Dr. Rosenschein’s bed wearing nothing but his underwear. The boy was a former patient of Dr. Rosenschein’s. Detectives also found numerous electronic devices, some of which were encrypted and required further analysis. A thumb drive that was not encrypted contained approximately 1,100 images and 78 videos of child pornography. During an interview following the search of his residence, Dr. Rosenschein accepted responsibility for the thumb drive and admitted that he is sexually attracted to underage 
males. The data from the thumb drive containing the child pornography indicated that it was viewed as recently as May 2016. 

Following the execution of the first search warrant, federal law enforcement officers learned that there was a “secret room” inside Dr. Rosenchein’s residence. They obtained a second search warrant to search the home and found the secret room. During their search, the officers found five printed photographs depicting a minor male child who was approximately 11 to 15 years of age. Four of the photos depicted the child nude in the shower. 

In addition to the foregoing, law enforcement seized an iPhone 6 from Dr. Rosenchein’s residence. The forensic analysis of this phone revealed approximately one dozen photographs taken in a hospital or medical setting. Several of the photographs depict close up views of infant children’s genitalia. Other photographs depict the breasts of a child just entering puberty, which could be a male or female. The fact that the photographs were taken on an iPhone 6 (which was released for sale in September 2014) establishes that the children in the photographs were most likely Presbyterian patients. 

Other photographs and/or videos of infants and children have been taken and either have yet to be discovered or were destroyed. Indeed, given Dr. Rosenchein’s admitted sexual interest in underage children and his position at Presbyterian as a pediatric urologist and surgeon, it is most likely that there were many other photographs, videos, and similarly improper and illegal actions taken by Dr. Rosenchein while he was at Presbyterian. 

Because Dr. Rosenchein was a practicing pediatric urologist – a specialty in which Dr. Rosenchein is cloaked with authority to examine and touch children’s genitals – Dr. Rosenchein had frequent contact and exposure to his young patients’ genitals. Given his admitted attraction to underage males, and given that he took personal photographs of males and females in the hospital setting, it is believed and alleged that Rosenchein examined his young patients’ genitals for his personal gratification, rather than solely for medically appropriate reasons. A pedophile was given unfettered acces to the objects of his desire under the guise of being a trusted Presbyterian physician. 

Dr. Rosenchein abused his authority and his position of trust to the serious detriment of Class Members. When he examined patients, he made inappropriate remarks about the size of children’s genitals, which is further proof that he was viewing the children through the eyes of a pedophile, rather than as a physician. 

Dr. Rosenchein further abused this position of trust given the fact that upon his arrest, he was found with a 16-year-old former patient in his bed. According to a finding in the criminal case, Dr. Rosenchein “understands how to ‘groom’ children so that they trust him and will agree to spend time with him. And although both John Doe 1 and Dr. Rosenschein denied having a sexual relationship, the fact that his former patient was found in his bed in only his underwear suggests that the relationship was not entirely platonic.” 

23. Dr. Rosenchein is currently in federal custody facing charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. According to court records, “evidence in this case indicates that Dr. Rosenchein possessed more than one thousand images and videos of child pornography, many of which involve prepubescent minor males. Dr. Rosenchein kept these images literally at his fingertips – on a thumb drive attached to a key chain found in his vehicle.” 

24. In a decision denying release of Dr. Rosenchein, the court made the following finding:
[Dr. Rosenchein’s] history suggests that he is a danger to children, and that he is willing to use his position as a pediatric surgeon to gain access to minors for purpose of engaging in inappropriate behavior. Dr. Rosenchein admitted that he sometimes is sexually attracted to underage males. . . . Dr. Rosenchein also had several photographs on his phone that depict close-up views of genitalia in what appear to be a medical or hospital setting. 

25. As the court stated, Dr. Rosenschein’s actions and history demonstrate “that the recent charges against him are not an aberration.”

26. As a result of Defendants’ misconduct, Plaintiffs and all others similarly situated are left in utter dismay over the known fact that Presbyterian allowed a pedophile access to minors at its facility. They are further alarmed that Presbyterian, apparently, allowed Dr. Rosenchein to take illicit photographs of patients, to meet underage children that he attempted to groom for his own gratification, and to invade the privacy and innocence of pediatric patients when conducting examinations for his personal sexual gratification rather than solely for the treatment and diagnosis of medical conditions. 

27. As the United States Supreme Court held in Paoline v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 1710 (2014), the harm that child pornography inflicts on children is “devastating.” As a “consumer” of child pornography, Dr. Rosenchein “encourages others to sexually abuse young children to create pornography.” 

28. As cited by the United States Attorney in Dr. Rosenchein’s criminal case, several studies report that child pornography offenses are indicative of hands-on offenses. See The 'Butner Study' Redux: A Report of the Incidence of Hands-on Child Victimization by Child Pornography Offenders, Michael Bourke and Andres Hernandez, Journal of Family Violence, 2009 (child pornography offenders are “more likely than not” to have engaged in the hands-on abuse of a child); Child Pornography Offenses Are a Valid Diagnostic Indicator of Pedophilia, Seto, Cantor & Blanchard, 2006 (child pornography offending is a “stronger diagnostic indicator of pedophilia than is sexually offending against child victims.”). Here, the Class Members and Court are not left to simply speculate whether Dr. Rosenchein has or will engage in hands-on contact with minors; he admitted to previously having sexual contact with a minor overseas. Furthermore, the very position that Presbyterian bestowed on Dr. Rosenchein gave him hands-on contact with minors’ genitalia on an almost daily basis. 

29. On information and belief, because Dr. Rosenschein was brazen enough to take at least a dozen photographs at Presbyterian’s facilities, it is certainly likely that he engaged in other inappropriate and illegal acts at those facilities during his tenure as a Presbyterian physician and employee. 

30. Dr. Rosenschein was performing examinations and providing medical care and treatment to minor children with ulterior motives in mind and was viewing the children entrusted to him as sexual objects, rather than as patients. Such actions by Dr. Rosenchein breached the trust that Defendants promised all pediatric patients to provide them with care in a safe environment that was free from all forms of abuse, neglect, and harassment and that preserved their dignity. 

31. Presbyterian fired Dr. Rosenschein approximately one day after he was taken into federal custody. Dr. Rosenschein also lost his hospital privileges as well as his medical license.

32. Presbyterian engaged in a quick effort to spin the story in its favor. Days after Dr. Rosenchein’s arrest, and without full knowledge and investigation of the facts and circumstances involving Dr. Rosenchein’s predatory activities, Presbyterian gave interviews and sent letters to patients and parents assuring them Dr. Rosenchein was not engaged in inappropriate conduct at Presbyterian. 

33. To the contrary, Presbyterian policy prohibits taking photographs of patients on a personal cellular telephone. Yet, it failed to enforce its policy. Additionally, no legitimate basis exists to claim that pictures of boys’ and girls’ genitalia and a child’s exposed chest on the personal iPhone of an admitted pedophile is “clinically appropriate”. The iPhone 6 was released in 2014 – between 2014 and his arrest in 2016, Dr. Rosenchein was a Presbyterian doctor who saw patients at Presbyterian facilities. The photographs were most likely taken at a Presbyterian facility and are most likely Presbyterian patients. 

34. For Dr. Rosenchein’s patients, the hollow assurance that nothing inappropriate happened at Presbyterian is simply a cover-up by a corporation that allowed a pedophile access to the most vulnerable members of the community.

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