In October of 2016, a doctor who formerly practiced in Bergenfield pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual contact and was barred from practicing medicine in New Jersey.
Although he only pleaded guilty to one count, a total of eight female patients had accused Raja K. Jagtiani of inappropriate touching. The accusers included both patients and employees. He was originally charged with eight counts of criminal sexual contact. He did not formally plead guilty to the other seven counts but admitted to the conduct that led to these charges, which was considered for his sentencing.
Jagtiani was arrested three times in 2015. The first victim came forward in March of that year, which led to the first charge of sexual contact. In August 2015, three more victims came forward and he was charged with another nine counts of criminal sexual contact. In September, he was arrested a third time on five more counts involving three other victims.
In January 2017, Jagtiani was sentenced to five years of non-custodial probation for groping eight women at his office, formerly located on South Washington Avenue. He will be allowed to reapply for his license in 10 years.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents survivors in civil lawsuits. Here are some thoughts from Brian regarding the legal options available to doctor sexual assault victims in New Jersey:
Doctors are some of the most trusted professionals in our communities. Most doctors are worthy of this trust, but sadly, there have been countless cases of doctors and other medical professionals exploiting this trust and sexually assaulting their patients. The victims of these traumatic crimes deserve answers and support.
While the police handle the prosecution of sexual predators in the medical field, the legal options for victims don’t end here. In many cases, survivors of sexual abuse by doctors have grounds for a lawsuit against the doctor and/or the facility where the abuse occurred.
In May, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new law into effect. This law extends the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits in sexual abuse cases. Previously, this statute of limitations was just two years. Beginning December 1, survivors will have up until their 55th birthday or 7 years from the moment they discover the abuse to file a lawsuit. Additionally, there will be a two-year window beginning that date which allows any survivor to file a lawsuit, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.
If you or someone you love has been sexually abused by a doctor, your family has legal rights. You can learn more about your legal options by calling one of our sex abuse survivors lawyers for a free consultation.