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    Sunday, July 21, 2024

    Police say slap on rear end led to arrest of Norwich pediatrician

    Norwich ― A Norwich pediatrician arrested by Norwich police last month allegedly slapped one of his young patients on the backside, police reports show.

    As a result of the alleged incident, 61-year-old Ravi Prakash now faces charges of fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. The latter is a felony.

    The arrest was made after an investigation into a complaint from the mother of the alleged victim, who said she was with her child on May 2, 2024 when Prakash “slapped the victim’s buttocks with an open hand.” Prakash, police said, had been examining a rash on the child’s back.

    The child was clothed at the time and Prakash, when questioned by police, claimed the contact was accidental.

    But police said the victim’s mother “was in shock from the incident and did not immediately say anything to the accused,” the warrant states. “After the doctor’s appointment, the victim’s mother stated the victim expressed to her that (redacted) felt uncomfortable, dirty, and violated” from the incident.

    The arrest warrant affidavit, prepared by detective Thomas Lawton, redacts any reference to the child’s age and gender.

    Police questioned Prakash, whose practice is Prakash Pediatrics at 124 New London Turnpike, on May 31. When asked about the alleged slap of a patient, police said Prakash claimed he “inadvertently made contact with the victim’s buttocks or hip,” as the child had stepped up onto a step stool to get onto an exam table, the warrant states.

    Prakash said the child’s mother had not complained while at the office and in fact had made a follow-up appointment for the child for the following week. The child’s mother, however, showed up at Prakash’s office the next day “yelling that he was a child molester and demanding her children’s medical records,” the warrant states.

    Police said the alleged victim’s mother secretly recorded her conversation with Prakash during the confrontation at his office. Prakash, police said, offered a different explanation of the contact with the child during that confrontation.

    An excerpt of the conversation between Prakash and the mother is contained in the arrest warrant affidavit: “Prakash asks the mother ‘What’s your problem you saw what I did.’ The victim’s mother responds by saying ‘yeah you slapped my (redacted) butt.’ The accused responds by saying, ‘I was playing.’”

    “Just because I was in the room doesn’t give you the right to slap my (redacted) ass. The accused responds, saying, ‘Excuse me I wasn’t doing anything inappropriate.” The victim responds saying, ‘Are you kidding me? So touching my (redacted) ass is not inappropriate?“

    Police said Prakash claims to the mother it was done in a “friendly gesture.” When Prakash figured out he was being recorded, police said, he demanded the recording be deleted, telling the mother he would not release her children’s medical records until she deleted the video, police said.

    Prakash’s lawyer, Drizislav “Dado” Coric, said the touch was inadvertent and non-sexual and therefore said he thinks Prakash will eventually be exonerated.

    “Dr. Prakash has been a pediatrician for 27 years with 20-plus years in Norwich and has an impeccable record,” Coric said. “He’s never had any incident before and he certainly didn’t do anything inappropriate or wrong.”

    Police confirmed on Monday that there are no other complaints against Prakash being investigated at this time.

    Coric said Prakash spoke to police without an attorney in an attempt to explain what he thought was a misunderstanding.

    “That’s not something that people do when they think they’ve done something wrong,” Coric said.

    While the arrest was unfortunate, Coric said, Prakash had received an outpouring of support from his patients, past and present, who are standing up for him.

    Prakash, with a last known address of 18 Brownwood Lane in Norwich, is free on a $50,000 bond and due to appear Thursday in Norwich Superior Court.