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Johns Hopkins To Pay $190 Million After Gynecologist Secretly Videotaped Women

A gynecologist secretly used a tiny camera to take photos of patients, leading one of the top medical centers to pay $190 million to 8,000 women and girls.

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Dr. Nikita Levy was fired after 25 years with the Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore in February 2013 after a female co-worker spotted a pen-like camera he wore around his neck and alerted authorities.

Levy committed suicide days later, after a federal investigation revealed more than 1,200 videos and 140 images on his home computer.

Levy committed suicide by wrapping his head in a plastic bag with a hose connected to a helium tank. Because of his suicide, no criminal charges were ever brought.

The preliminary settlement of $190 million is one of the largest in the U.S. for cases involving physician sexual misconduct.

Lawyers said that thousands of women were impacted, even though their faces were not visible and it could not be determined specifically which women were photographed.

At least 62 girls were among the victims, and Levy violated protocol by sending chaperones out of the exam room, plaintiffs' attorney Howard Janet said.

"All of these women were brutalized by this," said their lead attorney, Jonathan Schochor.

AP Photo/Juliet Linderman

He said women reported being inappropriately touched and verbally abused by Levy. He said women were regularly summoned to Levy's office for unnecessary pelvic exams.

During Levy's time with Hopkins, he saw roughly 12,600 patients. About 8,000 joined the class-action lawsuit, which alleged the hospital should have known what he was up to.

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Each plaintiff was interviewed by a forensic psychologist and a post-traumatic stress specialist to determine how much trauma was suffered and how much money would be received from the settlement.

Levy, 54, graduated from the Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan, and completed his internship and residency at Kings County Hospital Center. He started working at Johns Hopkins in 1988.

The case has still seriously impacted Hopkins' reputation.

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"It is our hope that this settlement and findings by law enforcement that images were not shared helps those affected achieve a measure of closure," the hospital statement said, adding that "one individual does not define Johns Hopkins."

Hopkins' attorney, Donald DeVries, said Levy went "rogue" and "There was no inkling of it. Hopkins was unaware."

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Honolulu.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at

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