New York City doctor accused of drugging, filming rape victims at home, hospital

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Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Doctor accused of raping, abusing women at hospital, in his home
A doctor in Queens is accused of raping three women in his apartment and also abusing three women at a hospital. Josh Einiger has the story.

NEW YORK -- A New York City gastroenterologist already accused of raping a woman in his apartment has now been charged with dozens of new counts accusing him of drugging the women he allegedly raped and filming the assaults.

Dr. Zhi Alan Cheng had been fired last December from New York-Presbyterian Queens after his initial arrest. Cheng pleaded not guilty to new charges contained in a 50-count indictment that said he sexually abused three patients at the hospital and raped three other women in his Queens home.

Cheng is charged with filming his alleged sexual abuse of the hospital patients, all of whom appeared to be unconscious in videos prosecutors said they recovered.

In addition to the victims who have been identified, the videos seized from Cheng depict more than six other women being sexually assaulted, including one at New York-Presbyterian Queens, prosecutors said.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz urged women who think they may have been victimized to contact her office's Special Victims Bureau.

"The recovered evidence compiled paints the picture of a sexual predator of the absolute worst kind, a serial rapist, someone willing to not only violate his sacred professional oath and patients' trust, but every standard of human decency, as well. We will present the facts to a jury and achieve justice for the victims of the horrific assaults captured on video," Katz said.

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Cheng, 33, was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned on 10 counts of predatory sexual assault, three counts of rape in the first degree, seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, four counts of assault in the second degree, three counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree, 11 counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree, eight counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

Cheng was charged in a previous 11-count indictment, after his arrest on Dec. 27, 2022, with two counts of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and four counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree. He was accused of drugging and raping a female acquaintance - identified as Apartment Victim 1 - at his Queens home.

Cheng's medical license has been suspended by the state. He has been held without bail since his arrest. He faces multiple 25 years to life sentences.

According to prosecutors, Apartment Victim 1 came across videos depicting her and other women being assaulted by the doctor. Investigators then uncovered evidence resulting in the most recent indictment.

A search warrant executed at Cheng's home led to the seizure of numerous digital media storage devices containing videos of unconscious female hospital patients, as well as Cheng's female acquaintances. Also seized were narcotics, including fentanyl, ketamine, cocaine, LSD and MDMA, as well as drugs used in health care settings for sedation, such as propofol and sevoflurane, prosecutors said.

In addition to the hospital victims already identified, another patient who is unidentified appears in a video similar to those involving other victims from the hospital.

Videos of other women being sexually assaulted were also recovered with the conduct taking place in Cheng's Queens apartment and in Westchester County, Manhattan, Las Vegas and in and around San Francisco and in Thailand, prosecutors said.