Sunday, February 5, 2023

US: Former hospital director accused of sexual assault

A former medical director of a Virginia hospital that serves vulnerable children has been charged with four felony sex crimes related to abuse he says occurred years ago at that institution.

Last month, a grand jury indicted Dr. Daniel N. Davido, a longtime employee of Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents, court records show. The records were released Thursday, a local prosecutor announced Friday.

Davido’s attorney, Robert F. Donnelly, told The Associated Press via email that “we are still learning the details and facts, so we are not in a position to comment.”

The hospital, located in New Kent County, about a half hour east of the state capital, provides care for children and young adults with complex medical needs, including chronic diseases, brain injuries and neurobehavioral disorders. Since 2017, the Virginia State Police has been investigating hospital workers. The institution is also facing civil lawsuits alleging that it operates without proper licenses and “lacks fundamental hygiene and humanism,” claims the hospital denies.

Lawsuits and other concerns by patients’ parents about the hospital, highlighted in frequent reports by Richmond television station WTVR, have raised alarm at the highest levels of state government in at least two gubernatorial administrations.

In civil lawsuits, more than three dozen former female patients alleged that Davido sexually assaulted them during physical exams. Davido has previously denied such allegations in court documents and through a lawyer.

Kevin Biniazhan, an attorney representing the former patients in the civil case, said Friday that he had confirmed the indictments were related to allegations made by two of his clients.

“The first thing that comes to mind — and probably to the minds of all my clients — is that this was a long time coming,” he said. “And in many ways I hope it gives the public and my clients a sense of validation … In many cases they have been suspected, and I think discouraged in many ways from coming forward.”

An attorney for the hospital and representatives of its parent company did not respond to an email from the Associated Press seeking comment.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller confirmed Friday night that Davido was being held without bail at a local jail.

He faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of sexual penetration with an object, all felonies.

The charging documents provide few additional details about the allegations, though they do say that two of the victims were children. The documents allege that the abuse of one of the victims occurred from March 1, 2018, to April 30 of that year. The text indicated that the second child suffered abuse from mid-October 2017 until 1 December of that year.

Nation World News Desk
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