URMC professor, doctor accused of raping former medical resident

Dr. Johan Blickman, M.D., is a professor and pediatric radiology doctor at Strong Memorial Hospital. He has been there since 2009. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A lawsuit filed in civil court accuses a University of Rochester doctor of raping a former medical resident and threatening to expose and sabotage her career.

Dr. Johan Blickman, M.D., is a professor and pediatric radiology doctor at Strong Memorial Hospital. He has been there since 2009.

The lawsuit alleges that Blickman first came to know the plaintiff while she was going through a pediatric rotation as part of her medical residency. She was a resident at Rochester General Hospital.

On August 3, 2014, the alleged victim said Blickman invited her to come to his home to discuss a research project, according to court documents. At that meeting, the woman said Blickman drugged and raped her.

Afterward, court documents allege Blickman told the woman "he had taken pictures of her, with her face clearly visible, in embarassing sexual situations." If she reported his actions, court documents further allege Blickman told her "he would use these pictures to humiliate her and that he would destroy her career." He also allegedly told her he got someone in Boston fired for making a claim to Human Resources and/or going to police.

Several months later, Blickman allegedly met with the woman and her boyfriend, and asked the boyfriend to find information on his ex-wife, implying that he wanted to kill her.

"'I want the problem to go away permanently...It is very easy,'" Blickman is alleged to have said. "She rides her bicycle every morning without a helmet and takes the same course daily."

Other allegations against Blickman accuse him of making bizarre requests of the alleged victim, including her role playing as a child patient and then molesting her, having sexual contact with his dog, and having at least one incident of coercion in his office at Strong Memorial Hospital.

The alleged victim is seeking $30 million in damages from Strong Memorial Hospital and Blickman.

In response to the lawsuit, Evans Fox LLP, who represents Dr. Blickman released the following statement:

“The defamatory allegations of inappropriate and criminal conduct alleged by {the plaintiff} against Dr. Blickman are patently untrue, vehemently denied, and appear to be an attempt by {the plaintiff} to use the current social climate to gain a financial windfall. Such salacious accusations by an individual who has her own agenda must be dismissed outright, especially where absolutely no evidence or independent sources to sustain such falsehoods are put forth. The same or similar allegations were previously filed with the University of Rochester in June 2016. Those allegations were investigated by the University pursuant to the University’s Policy against Discrimination and Harassment (Policy 106) and it was concluded that Dr. Blickman did NOT violate Policy 106 and that the relationship between Dr. Blickman and {the plaintiff} was consensual and NOT otherwise inappropriate. Further, and despite the false allegations of criminal actions, Dr. Blickman is NOT aware of any criminal complaint ever having been filed or any criminal investigation ever occurring. Dr. Blickman will vigorously pursue the justice to which he is entitled, will protect his name and the reputation that he has built over the last 40 years of practicing medicine and is confident that he will be fully vindicated by actual evidence in a court of law.”

URMC spokesman Chip Partner issued a statement in response to the lawsuit.

[The plaintiff] was not in a residency program at the University of Rochester. Rather, she was a radiology resident in a program at Rochester General Hospital who, during 2013 and 2014, did three one-month rotations in pediatric radiology at Strong Memorial Hospital. Approximately two years after completing her rotations here, we received reports that Dr. Johan Blickman, who then supervised the pediatric imaging residency program at Strong, had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with [the plaintiff]. We investigated those reports, which came from [the plaintiff's] attorney in 2016, and took action based on our findings.
Last week the University received a complaint in which new and different allegations have been made against Dr. Blickman by [the plaintiff], some of which would be serious criminal offenses if proven true. Dr. Blickman is on leave and we will review these new allegations as we prepare our response to the complaint, but we have not received a law-enforcement inquiry related to them.

Both the alleged victim and her attorney denied to comment on the lawsuit.

The University have Blickman have 20 days to respond.

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