AG Prosecutor Says Radecki Was Building Commune to Control Heroin-Addicted Women

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 3.55.25 PMCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – State Attorney General Office Prosecutor Mark Serge believed Thomas Radecki was working to build a commune at his Clarion home where he could exert more power and control over women who were trying to beat their addictions to heroin.

“He wanted to start a commune where he would have complete control of them,” Serge argued passionately Monday in front of a jury of five men and seven women in the Clarion County Courthouse.

After one of the more lengthy trials in recent memory in the county, Radecki, a former psychiatrist, was found guilty in 12 of 17 charges leveled at him after an extensive investigation by the state Attorney General’s office.

Thirteen charges dealt with improper prescription of a controlled substance for Radecki patients. Others dealt with conspiracy, profiting from an unlawful activity, and corrupt organizations.

Radecki hung his head at times as the verdicts were read by the jury foreman, but, otherwise, showed little emotion.

Meanwhile, investigators and prosecutor Marnie Sheehan, from the state Attorney General’s office, exchanged handshakes and congratulations.

Radecki is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, June 1, in front of Judge James Arner, who presided over the trial that lasted 11 days.

Radecki’s attorney Jack Troese took the verdicts in stride.

“I respect the jurors’ decisions, but Tom always thought he was helping his patients, difficult patients who had a lot of problems,” Troese said.

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For the prosecution, they saw it much differently.

Both Sheehan and Serge argued that the motives, while not necessary to prove the state’s case, were clear in terms of the money, access to young, pretty, vulnerable women, and his desire to be published, and to be recognized by his peers for his work.

Serge was emphatic in his depiction of Radecki.

“He wants you to divorce his treatment from the relationships he had with his patients, but you can’t do that!” Serge said. “He abused his privilege, he exploited them financially and sexually. He did this for his own interests. He put his own self-gratification and interests over the needs of his patients.”

“We saw the progression of his behavior, his commenting on his female patients’ appearance, we had witnesses testify about him staring at their breasts, rubbing their backs. We heard how he commented to the women’s boyfriends that ‘you’re a very lucky man’ and ‘when you are done with her, bring her back to me.’”

Serge also commented on Radecki’s prescribing practices.

“Mr. Genius prescribed Subuxote for one patient who didn’t need it, and now she’s hooked on it and can’t work. These patients needed a different level of care than what they got.”

“He inflicted a grave injustice on these women, and now you have a chance to rectify it,” Serge said.

Radecki faced similar charges in Illinois, more than 25 years ago for similar behavior.

According to previously published reports, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation revoked Radecki’s medical license March 31, 1992, after the Illinois Medical Disciplinary Board found that Radecki had involved himself in unprofessional conduct with a patient.

According to documents, Radecki – who was initially licensed to practice medicine in Illinois in 1979 and board-certified in 1980 – had engaged in a 10-day consensual sexual relationship with a former female patient in October of 1991.

“In 1990, a female patient who was interested in trying an accommodation medication for alcoholism approached (Radecki). After about a month of taking the medication, the patient ceased taking it and ceased being an active patient of (Radecki). Approximately a year and a half later…(Radecki) and the patient had three consensual sexual encounters over the course of ten days, and on the eleventh day, the patient notified the Illinois State Board of Medicine of her relationship with (Radecki).”

Radecki’s licenses to practice medicine and prescribe controlled substances were subsequently suspended for a minimum of five years, during which time Radecki was ordered to undergo psychological evaluation known as a Special Purpose Examination.

Radecki received a cease and desist order from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation in 1996 after the board said he held himself out as a physician and was attaching the title “M.D.” to his name. The board said the order arose as a result of Radecki’s attempts to form a surrogacy and egg-donation business.

Radecki denied those allegations.

Nothing about the current case was swift and considering the scope of it, was not surprising.

Investigators said rumors started about Radecki not long after he opened his first Opioid treatment clinic in Clarion years ago.

And, the former physician gave investigators and prosecutors plenty to work with, including videos of him engaging in inappropriate physical and sexual contact with some of his female patients at his Clarion practice.

One patient, who ended up living in the Radecki residence in Clarion, became pregnant by him. Officials also found between $26,000.00 and $28,000.00 in a safe that Radecki maintained and seized nearly $500,000.00 dollars in banking accounts.

Radecki’s practice grew quickly as other physicians and a nurse practitioner became involved, and the patient list swelled to nearly 1,000.

Radecki claimed his goals were pure; he just wanted to help his patients overcome their Opioid addictions, chiefly Heroin. He said money was not a driving factor.

But, state attorneys Serge and Marnie Sheehan argued that Radecki’s motivations were simple, but much darker – power, sex, and money.

Monday, Radecki’s attorney, John Troese, called four witnesses in his client’s behalf, including two former patients as well as his son and one daughter.

After their testimony and a brief recess, attorneys for both sides made their closing arguments to the jury, and deliberations began just past 2:30 p.m.

At 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Judge Arner released the jurors for the evening with deliberations resuming at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

Those continued beyond noon with the jurors returning to the court room at 4:15 p.m. for clarification of the corrupt organizations charge.

They returned to deliberations at about 4:30 p.m. and returned with their verdicts shortly after 5:00 p.m.

Radecki was found guilty of nine charges of prescribing controlled substances by a practitioner; one count of conspiracy to prescribe controlled substances by a practitioner; one count of corrupt organizations; and one count of dealing in illegal proceeds.

Radecki was investigated by a number of law enforcement agencies in 2011 and 2012 in reference to his prescribing, dispensing, and billing practices while operating four offices, including Suboxone maintenance programs in Clarion, Seneca, DuBois, and Kane. Suboxone is used to treat addiction to heroin and other Opiates such as Morphine.

Concerns were raised by Cardinal Health, the company where Radecki bought his prescription drugs, over the amount that was being purchased in a specific time frame.

The offices were closed in June 2012 after the state attorney general’s office investigated Radecki’s practices.

According to the affidavit for probable cause filed nearly four years ago by James Embree, of Butler – a narcotics agent with the Attorney General’s office – agents began receiving complaints in early 2011 of Radecki over-prescribing or dispensing Subutex, a drug used to treat Opioid dependence.

Similar complaints were filed with agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Clarion County District Attorney’s office, the Pennsylvania state police, and various municipal police departments, Embree said then.

In the affidavit, Embree added that the complaints also included accusations of Radecki having relations of a sexual nature with patients in exchange for the drug Subutex.

Embree indicated those complaints were at least partially confirmed by two DVD’s of video surveillance from a system installed by Radecki at his Clarion office on 238 Main Street.

The DVD’s were given to Embree by a confidential informant, according to Department of State documents.

In the first video, captured on June 14, when the Clarion office was closed for visits, Radecki and a female patient could be seen engaged in kissing and inappropriate touching of each other in a patient exam room.

According to documents, Radecki subsequently accessed a safe known by staff members to contain controlled substances and handed a bottle to the patient.

A video from June 20 – again captured at the Clarion office after regular office hours – depicts Radecki and the same female patient engaged in similar misconduct, after which time Radecki is again seen handing the patient what is believed to be a bottle of pills.

Kenneth Means, Pennsylvania professional conduct investigator, confirmed the validity of the videos and said, based on the “factual allegations,” that “(Radecki’s) continued practice of medicine…makes (him) an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety.”

In Embree’s application for a search warrant, he said Radecki had installed the video system in his Clarion office for the purpose of tracking patient movement as well as to capture any evidence of criminal activity such as thefts, etc.


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