DOVER – A long-time Dover physician under criminal investigation for alleged sexual misconduct against patients had his medical license suspended Thursday in an emergency order signed by state officials.
Dr. Jerome “Jerry” Abrams can request an expedited hearing regarding the formal complaint signed by Sec. of State Jeffrey W. Bullock and President of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline Dr. Gregory D. Adams provided it is received within five calendar days of notification.
In an answer to the motion for suspension, Dr. Abrams’ attorney denied the allegations of five patients, and refuted the claims made by former co-worker Dr. Joseph F. Rubacky III of the Dover Family Physicians practice.
“The response is simple – we’re going to deny all the allegations and vigorously defend (everything),” said lawyer James E. Ligouri, who is representing Dr. Abrams.
Dr. Abrams was out of town Friday and unavailable for comment, his attorney said.
“He’s a fine man and I have had 30 to 40 emails and correspondence from professionals and community members expressing their interest in offering whatever help they can lend,” Mr. Ligouri said.
The emergency suspension came after the Delaware Attorney General’s Office made a request for action on July 5; Dr. Abrams allegedly touched and fondled female patients during in-office examinations between June 2004 and May 2013, according to the state.
The AG’s office alleged in papers that Dr. Abrams engaged in activities “including, but not limited to, fondling patients’ breasts and nipples without medical need, justification or explanation to the patients;
“placing his hand down a patient’s pants, under her underwear and on her pubic area; and placing his hand in the back of a patient’s pants and rubbing her sacral area and then pressing on her pelvic area …”
In the response letter, Mr. Ligouri stated that two alleged victims are co-workers of Dr. Abrams, who is “now in the middle of an ugly dissolution” of the practice.
Dr. Abrams is no longer employed at Dover Family Physicians.
One of the co-workers’ complaints was more than 10 years old, Mr. Ligouri said, and the alleged victim remained a co-worker of Dr. Abrams without a complaint since.
Mr. Ligouri said in papers another alleged victim’s case was resolved 2 ½ years ago through a practice attorney who resolved that the allegation of the patient was a “misunderstanding between (Dr. Abrams) and patient concerning standard medical practices. That matter was resolved.”
Also, the investigations of two patient claims by the Division of Professional Regulation required only a “letter of caution” to Dr. Abrams, his response said. There were no formal sanctions or actions, according to the respondent.
Dr. Abrams has taken a voluntary leave of absence from Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital, response papers said; he is no longer practicing medicine until the matter is resolved, and Mr. Ligouri said there is “not urgency to his suspension to ‘protect’ the public.”
The Delaware State Police began a separate criminal investigation into the accusations last week. The case is being handled by DSP Troop 3, and anyone with information or concerns is asked to call 697-2104.