A woman in Philadelphia claims her doctor drugged and hypnotized her before she was sexually assaulted during what was supposed to be a routine exam.
Tameka Green says in a lawsuit filed earlier this month in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas that Leonard Rosenfeld — a physician specializing in internal medicine — “used hypnosis and/or short-acting medication” to sedate her before sexually assaulting her during a visit in March 2016.
“[Rosenfeld] told [Green] that he performs hypnosis regularly to ‘help patients relax’ but did not provide further explanation or justification,” according to the lawsuit, which was obtained Thursday by The Post. “Although Ms. Green was slightly agitated by waiting, she was surprised by the suggestion, as it was a first appointment, she had not ever been hypnotized before, knew nothing about it and told him this.”
Rosenfeld, who saw Green at his practice at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, then exited and re-entered the examination room with two cups of water, or some other beverage, according to the lawsuit — which also names the University of Pennsylvania as a defendant.
Rosenfeld then told Green that she needed to “take some medication” before swallowing a pill. Green, who is in her 50s, then requested a gown because she was only wearing a sundress. That’s when she said things got really bad.
“Without obtaining any form of permission from Ms. Green, [Rosenfeld] sedated, hypnotized, and otherwise used his influence backed by the profession and Defendant Penn and placed Ms. Green in a trance-like state of reduced alertness and reduced self-control,” the lawsuit reads. “Upon information and belief, [Rosenfeld] used hypnosis and/or short-acting medication to sedate Ms. Green.”
Then, while she was disrobed as instructed, Rosenfeld began to “massage” Green’s upper body in a sexual manner while telling her to relax and that there was “nothing wrong” with his actions, according to the lawsuit.
Rosenfeld then instructed Green to massage his penis as he moved from side to side around the examination table.
“[Green] did not give any form of consent to any treatment and/or touching either before or after being sedated, let alone informed consent,” the lawsuit reads. “Upon information and belief, the form of sedation used by [Rosenfeld] was not limited to hypnosis, but was chemically induced, possibly with a benzodiazepine or other short-acting medication.”
Green, who is diabetic, was referred to Rosenfeld while being treated in the emergency room at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, which is near her home in west Philadelphia, according to the lawsuit — which seeks punitive damages for the “severe mental anguish” she suffered as a result of Rosenfeld’s actions.
“She’s kind of afraid to go to the doctors now,” Green’s attorney, Jared Jacobsen, told The Post. “The whole point of going to Penn was to get away from questionable doctors in her area. This was a horrible experience for her and the result of a total power imbalance.”
Rosenfeld’s attorney, Robert Land, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Patrick Norton, vice president for public affairs at Penn Medicine, said in a statement to The Post that Rosenfeld is an “independent, private practice physician” who is not employed by Penn Presbyterian Medical Center or Penn Medicine.
An online profile page for Rosenfeld on Penn Medicine’s website reiterates Norton’s statement but indicates that Rosenfeld “has privileges” to treat patients at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center at 3910 Powelton Avenue, where the alleged sexual assault occurred, according to the lawsuit.
Citing its policy not to comment on pending litigation, a spokesman for the University of Pennsylvania declined to comment to The Daily Pennsylvania, which first reported the lawsuit Wednesday.
Officer Troy Brown of the Philadelphia Police Department declined to comment on “any aspect of the case,” citing privacy concerns for alleged sexual assault victims.