Doctor sued on assault claim

Suspended on drug charge, psychiatrist accused of raping patient while she was sedated

December 27, 2006|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,Sun Reporter

A Baltimore County psychiatrist who was suspended amid allegations that he traded drugs for sex was sued yesterday by a woman who says he raped her while she was sedated.

The lawsuit was filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court by an unnamed woman against Dr. Nelson H. Hendler, medical director and founder of the Mensana Clinic in Stevenson.

The lawsuit alleges that the woman, identified in court papers as "Jane Doe II," began seeing Hendler in 1995 after undergoing lower back surgery. The doctor, a nationally known specialist in pain management, began giving her injections that rendered her unconscious, at which point he raped her, the lawsuit alleges. She believed the injections were for pain relief, the court papers state.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Maryland section misstated the amount of money for which a woman is suing a Baltimore County psychiatrist whom she alleges raped her while under his care. The lawsuit claims an amount exceeding $50,000, and her lawyer says he plans to ask a jury to award her $5 million.

The lawsuit, filed by Baltimore lawyer Marvin Ellin, also alleges that on one occasion, Hendler raped her as she tried to fight him off.

The woman has suffered prolonged periods of emotional pain because of the assaults and became dependent on the drugs that he gave her, according to the lawsuit. She is suing him for $50,000.

Attempts to reach Hendler yesterday were unsuccessful. A lawyer for Hendler, 62, of Owings Mills, said that he was not aware the lawsuit had been filed and that he could not reach the doctor for comment.

In February, the Maryland Board of Physicians suspended Hendler's license. The board accused him of sexual improprieties with three patients and handing out painkillers without proper prescriptions at the Stevenson clinic.

Police seized more than 5,800 pills, including narcotics such as OxyContin and morphine, from the clinic, as well as three guns found in the doctor's unlocked desk drawer, according to state records.

Hendler was indicted in May on seven charges of possessing a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute. A trial has been set for Feb. 14.

When the criminal investigation was reported earlier this year, his attorney called the criminal charges "outrageous and scurrilous," saying the doctor is the victim of a "vendetta" by a group of patients bent on destroying his spotless medical career.

Sun reporter Nick Shields contributed to this article.

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