The Chicago Tribune published an article earlier this week detailing the substantial number of sexual abuse allegations levied against Dr.
Ricardo Arze between 2000 and 2007. According to the article, Arze allegedly sexually assaulted at least 21 women and girls at his practice in Berwyn, IL. The first complaint against Arze was lodged in 2003 when a 17 year old girl told Berwyn police that the doctor had removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her in his exam room. It took four more years and at least four formal complaints to police to initiate an investigation that led to Arze’s being charged with criminal sexual assault. Since that time at least 21 total girls and women have detailed acts of sexual abuse committed by Arze. The victims of Arze that did come forward report to being brushed aside by police.
The widespread abuses committed by Arze are indicative of a system which some feel does not adequately protect patients from sexual predators masquerading as doctors. Medical discipline of doctors is handled by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. That disciplinary agency is not required to report abuse allegations to police just as the police are not required to report to the disciplinary authorities. In addition, Illinois law only allows license revocation where a doctor has been twice convicted of felonies involving controlled substances or public aid offenses. As such, Dr.
Arze’s license to practice medicine has not been revoked.
Arze was finally charged in 2007 with sexual assault and is currently released on $1.5 million dollar bail. Once the charges against Arze were made public, many more women began to come forward with stories of abuse. Many of these women filed civil sexual abuse cases against Arze. Oftentimes, pressure and exposure through civil lawsuits can spur prosecutorial action where police and the state are unwilling or unable to bring a case. If you have been the victim of institutional sexual abuse, you should contact an attorney to explore your options and potentially expose harmful predators. To speak with an experienced Illinois victims’ rights attorney, please click here.