Letter from Hopkins says Levy may have had multiple cameras
12:13 PM, Feb 27, 2013
3:48 PM, Feb 28, 2013
Baltimore - A letter from the CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine supplied to ABC2 includes new details about the case involving Dr. Nikita Levy. The physician, who took his own life, videotaped patients at his Baltimore office. The letter , dated February 26th, indicates Levy was turned in by a fellow Hopkins employee who, "Advised she had noticed the Dr. Levy had worn a device, which looked like a writing pen, around his neck while examining patients and she believed it was a camera".
The letter sent in response to a letter from the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center, indicates that employee made the notification on February 4th, 2013. On the following day, Hopkins executives indicate security was contacted and went to Levy's office to question him. During that interview, the letter says "similar appearing devices were seen in his office and on his person".
In addition, the letter indicates Levy voluntarily surrendered the devices and was told he was no longer allowed to have any contact with patients. CEO Paul Rothman says Levy was also encouraged to seek counseling service before being escorted off the grounds.
Rothman tells the MCVRC that Baltimore City Police were contacted February 6th and that evidence they held was handed over to the department the following day. He says Baltimore Police asked Johns Hopkins not to disclose details of the early police investigation so "their investigation would not be compromised and Johns Hopkins complied with their request." Hopkins was permitted to send a preliminary letter to patients letting them know Levy was no longer affiliated with the institution.
Any images and videos taken by Dr. Levy are securely in police custody according to the letter, which also says Hopkins is not aware of whether any patients are identifiable in any way. A handful of Levy patients have already been notified by police. Rothman says they do not know what Levy did with the images or videos he took but that Johns Hopkins pledges to share information with patients as they get it.
Steve Kelly, the Baltimore-based attorney who sent the original letter to Hopkins and Baltimore Police on behalf of MCVRC, says the group is grateful for the prompt and thoughtful response. But he says, "A lot of Hopkins' admissions are troubling and raise serious questions about potential civil liability". Kelly has questions about how some victims could be identified while others remain in the dark about what happened. He also questions whether notification policies at Hopkins were truly effective in this case, even though Rothman says it was one of the institution's procedures that allowed an alert employee to come forward with the initial tip.