Pediatrician Dr. Mel Levine, 71, was found dead in his North Carolina home one full day after another sexual abuse lawsuit was officially filed against him yesterday in Boston.
Known for his advocacy in the field of learning disabilities, his approach emphasized that whatever learning disabilities or learning differences children had, every child had strengths that they could focus on and build upon.
Levine wrote several books on the subject including, A Mind at a Time, Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, and The Myth of Laziness. A charismatic speaker, he also had a PBS series, “Misunderstood Minds”, and maintained a high paced schedule of lectures for parents and teachers.
Three years ago, news first broke out of abuse charges when a lawsuit was filed against him claiming that he sexually molested five boys under his care. Abuse charges followed him in North Carolina and in 2009, Levine agreed to never practice medicine again.
The New York Times reports that Levine has another lawsuit filed against him just yesterday by Boston lawyer, Carmen L. Durso who filed the original lawsuit three years ago:
Mr. Durso held a news conference at his office on Thursday to announce a new medical malpractice and sexual abuse suit against Dr. Levine, charging him with abusing 40 patients, all boys, while he was a doctor at Children’s Hospital Boston, from 1966 to 1985.
The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court in Massachusetts, claimed that Dr. Levine had “stroked, massaged and manipulated the genitals of his patients in a manner which was not medically necessary.” It sought certification as a class action, on behalf of an estimated 5,000 boys that Dr. Levine treated while at the hospital.
The Boston Globe reports that “the news of Levine’s death came a day after a class action lawsuit was filed in Suffolk Superior Court alleging that the doctor, who was also a best-selling author, sexually abused thousands of his patients.”
Dr. Levine was actually never convicted of any abuse charges, and he never faced criminal charges. He denied all allegations. No official cause of death has yet been determined.
Source: The New York Times. Boston Globe
Photo: Simon and Schuster