Two heart doctors are accused of sexual assault.
Manhattan cardiologist Benjamin Zaremski, 67, has been accused of touching a female patient (identified only as ‘Jane Doe’) inappropriately. Zaremski has been previously accused of assaulting a patient in his office and is now facing claiming of having groped another woman’s genitals during an exam. According to the allegations, “Zaremski unbuckled” the woman’s pants and “touched her vagina with an ungloved hand” in a November 2019 visit.
The doctor has been in private practice since 1987, providing both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease care. He reportedly specializes in diagnosing and treating cross-system illnesses that may affect multiple organs. His site indicates, “I get to know each of my patients personally as whole people, and I spend as much time as necessary with each patient. Before a patient leaves my office, I make sure that all their questions and concerns have been addressed. You will never feel rushed in my office and you will always be treated with respect and understanding.”
The first claim against Zaremski was filed in 2012 in Manhattan Supreme Court. The woman said he put “his finger in her rectum without cause” and with “unnecessary force over her objections,” according to court papers. The doctor was able to continue practicing.
Another cardiologist, Dennis Doan, 46, practicing out of the Heart Center of North Texas in Weatherford, has been accused of touching patients inappropriately. A Texas Medical Board Complaint filed in late-January of this year accused Doan of “groping multiple patients and violating the Texas Medical Practice Act.” Patient Sunny Woodall said Doan “caused her physical pain when he squeezed her breasts,” and he was subsequently charged with assault causing bodily injury.
Since Texas law treats inappropriate touching as a minor infraction, such abuse remains only a misdemeanor sex offense and there is no way to upgrade the charge.
“Texas law prevented the Parker County Attorney’s Office from pursuing a felony against Doan,” said Natalie Barnett, the assistant county attorney. “I believe that doctors who take advantage of their patients in this way, they need to be held accountable to something that is higher than a misdemeanor.”
In the end, “all allegations involving assaultive conduct and sexual impropriety were abandoned by the Parker County Attorney’s Office,” a statement from defense attorneys Christy Jack and Letty Martinez, of the law firm Varghese Summersett, said, adding, “Once Doan completes his probation, there will be no finding of guilt, the case will be dismissed, and he will not have a conviction on his record.”
His victims believe the cardiologist got off too easily, and will do it again. “Anyone from the outside looking in would say, ‘That’s terrible, and a doctor should not be groping women,’” said Kim D’Avignon, head of the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office Adult Sexual Assault prosecution team. “But then we don’t have a law to fix it.”
A lawyer for Jane Doe declined comment. Zaremski could not be immediately reached.