Hopkins GYN commits suicide amid investigation

Former Hopkins gynecologist Dr. Nikita A. Levy committed suicide at his Towson home on Monday, leaving behind a wife, a son and an impending investigation prompted by reports stating that he had secretly videotaped and photographed his patients during gynecological examinations.

Levy’s employment was terminated earlier this month, four days after a colleague informed Hopkins officials of Levy’s alleged deviance on Feb. 4.

It took only a day for the University to conclude that Levy, 54, had captured images and videos of his patients, in some cases using a hidden camera installed in a pen. The exact magnitude of the crime remains unclear; more than 300 women have thus far filed reports with law enforcement officials, citing concerns that Levy had secretly documented their appointments with him. Levy, who had worked for Hopkins since 1988, saw more than 1000 patients during his tenure.

The University contacted Baltimore City Police immediately after the discovery, according to a statement from Johns Hopkins Medicine, which also broke the news of Levy’s suicide.

“Dr. Levy’s behavior violates Johns Hopkins code of conduct and privacy policies and is against everything for which Johns Hopkins Medicine stands,” the statement, which was released Monday, reads.

“We continue to work closely with law enforcement officials and will assist them in any way possible. Apart from a few individuals who have been notified, we are not aware at this time of the identities of any other people who may have been photographed by Dr. Levy. We are continuing to investigate.”

Levy killed himself on Monday morning in the basement of his home by placing a plastic bag over his head and filling it with helium. Within a day of his death and the release of the Hospital’s statement, around 100 of Levy’s former patients contacted Baltimore City Police, according to The Baltimore Sun.

In addition to the ongoing criminal investigation, the Hopkins Medicine Board of Trustees has spearheaded the University’s continued inquiry into the case, meanwhile facing the possibility that authorities will hold Hopkins Hospital liable for failing to protect the privacy of its patients.

This would not be unprecedented. In April, St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Conn. reached a settlement of about $50 million after the hospital’s chief of endocrinology took lewd photographs of 150 children under the guise of medical research, according to The Baltimore Sun.

In the meantime, Hopkins Hospital officials have opened a hotline for Levy’s patients via the hospital’s 24-hour call center.

“Johns Hopkins is providing counseling for any of the doctor’s patients, as well as offering appointments with other gynecologists,” a telephone operator at Hopkins Hospital’s call center, who declined to give his name, said last night.

At present, both the police and University face unanswered questions. Authorities remain unsure whether or not any of Levy’s victims were underage, or if he proliferated the  photographs and video recordings.

Data on the various hard drives and computers seized from Levy’s home could further complicate the imminent legal process. Officials have kept many details of the investigation confidential; as information emerges, it will become clearer whether or not Hopkins is legally culpable.

Hopkins students expressed a range of sentiments regarding Levy’s crimes and their broader implications for the University.

“I have a male doctor back home, which doesn’t make me uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a male gynecologist, especially after this,” sophomore Annabel Barnicke said. “If Hopkins Hospital knew about the incidents prior to the official investigation, then yes, the Hospital should be liable. Otherwise, it isn’t their fault for one individual’s actions.”

Levy, who graduated from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, is survived by his wife Sandra — to whom he addressed his suicide note, saying he did not want to “see [her] suffer with the truth,” according to The Baltimore Sun.


5 Responses to "Hopkins GYN commits suicide amid investigation"

  1. Tonya   February 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I dont know where to start! I have been a patient of Dr. Levy for over 16 years and he wasn’t nothing but a good doctor. I have referred him to many of my friends and family and at this point i regret it. He was not the person that i thought i knew! I dont know if i could trust another Gyn again. I am in shock at this point and upset with hopkins for not contacting all of his patients to make us aware of this…

  2. Vinoo Cameron   February 25, 2013 at 10:52 am

    The issue is not whether “John Hopkins knew of this”, but whether Jihn Hopkins should have . There was a GI doctor at Marshfield Clinic that was molestiing female patients after they were waking up from anesthesia. He went to Jail. I think Clinics should have mechanisms in place to know this, in fact ask the Physician every twoyears if he has done such things . You do not think the Wife knew or suspect anything

  3. Peter Sicher   February 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Vinoo Cameron: It is not “John Hopkins.” It is most certainly not “Jihn Hopkins.” The name is “Johns Hopkins.” JohnS, not John or Jihn.

  4. www.moodlekurse.org   May 21, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I almost never comment, but i did some searching and wound up here Hopkins GYN commits suicide amid investigation | The Johns Hopkins News-Letter.
    And I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be just me or does it appear like a few of these responses appear like left by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional places, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Could you make a list of all of your communal sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

  5. Michelle Clarke   March 24, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Johns Hopkins is NOT responsible for the sick actions of Nikita Levy. Nikita Levy was married to my sister Sandra. I think he was controlling and kept her from her family back in Jamaica. I doubt she knew what was going on in her home. What was the state of their marriage, that he could go down to the basement and kill himself in the house and she not know until he was dead. He did not want her to suffer the shame of the truth. Was the truth known all along and she just turned a blind eye like most women do. A complaint was filed against him for inappropriate behavior years ago. As a RN at Johns Hopkins how could word not trickle down from the gossip mill to her ear? Nikita is dead and Sandra is left to clean up the mess and afraid to go down to the basement from that day on. Maybe, just maybe if she had treated her family in Jamaica better than she did they would feel some kind of pity for her.

    Nikita has two sons and a daughter. His actions is the legacy he has left with them for the rest of their lives. That is what people will whisper when they enter a room. Who wants that legacy?


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