National News from ABC

NYC doctor allegedly drugged, assaulted women, prosecutors say

Karl Tapales/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — A New York City gastroenterologist, already accused of raping a woman in his apartment, has now been charged with dozens of new counts accusing him of drugging the women he allegedly raped and filming the assaults, prosecutors in New York announced.


Dr. Zhi Alan Cheng pleaded not guilty to new charges contained in a 50-count indictment that said he sexually abused three patients at the hospital and raped three other women in his Queens home, the Queens District Attorney’s office said in a press release Monday.

Cheng is charged with filming the alleged sexual abuse of the hospital patients, all of whom appeared to be unconscious in videos prosecutors said they recovered, according to the prosecutor’s office.

He had been fired last December from New York-Presbyterian Queens after his initial arrest.

Other videos seized from Cheng allegedly depict more than six other women being sexually assaulted, including one at New York-Presbyterian Queens, prosecutors added.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz urged women who think they may have been victimized to contact her office’s Special Victims Bureau.

“The recovered evidence compiled paints the picture of a sexual predator of the absolute worst kind, a serial rapist, someone willing to not only violate his sacred professional oath and patients’ trust but every standard of human decency, as well. We will present the facts to a jury and achieve justice for the victims of the horrific assaults captured on video,” Katz said in the press release.

Cheng, 33, was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned on 10 counts of predatory sexual assault, three counts of rape in the first degree, seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, four counts of assault in the second degree, three counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree, 11 counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree, eight counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, according to prosecutors.

Cheng was charged in a previous 11-count indictment, after his arrest on Dec. 27, 2022, with two counts of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree and four counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree, Katz said.

He pleaded not guilty on those charges.

An attorney for Chen did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

His attorney, Jeffrey Einhorn, who entered the plea on behalf of Cheng Monday, declined to say more about the case outside the courthouse, saying “It’s too early,” according to the New York Times.

He was accused of drugging and raping a female acquaintance — identified as Apartment Victim 1 by prosecutors — at his home in Queens.

Cheng’s medical license has been suspended by the state and has been held without bail since his arrest, prosecutors said. He faces several 25 years to life sentences, according to prosecutors.

Apartment Victim 1 came across videos depicting her and other women being assaulted by the doctor, according to prosecutors. Investigators say they then uncovered evidence resulting in the most recent indictment.

A search warrant executed at Cheng’s home resulted in the seizure of numerous digital media storage devices, which contained videos of female hospital patients who were unconscious, as well as Cheng’s female acquaintances, according to prosecutors.

Narcotics, including fentanyl, ketamine, cocaine, LSD and MDMA, as well as sedation drugs used in health care settings, such as propofol and sevoflurane, were also seized, prosecutors said.

Hospital Victim 1 is a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly ordered by Cheng to undergo a test. She is seen on a video shot sometime around June 2021 with her gown open, exposed and her underwear lowered, according to prosecutors.

The second hospital victim is a 47-year-old woman who was seriously ill and seen on a video, recorded sometime around May 2022, in an apparent unconscious state as she is groped, prosecutors said.

A 37-year-old woman, identified by prosecutors as the third hospital victim, was a patient sometime between March 2021 and June 2021. She is seen on video lying apparently unconscious as she is groped, according to prosecutors.

Other alleged victims were mentioned as part of the new evidence from Queens prosecutors, including:

Apartment Victim 2: A woman who met Cheng through an online dating site is seen on video sometime around July 2021 seemingly unconscious in his bed as Cheng allegedly engages in sexual conduct with her. A brown bottle is seen on the bed similar to one containing the anesthetic sevoflurane that was seized from his home, according to the Queens district attorney. The woman has no memory of the events, according to prosecutors.
    
Apartment Victim 3: A woman who met Cheng through an online dating site in the spring of 2022 is seen on numerous videos in his bedroom. She appears unconscious as Cheng allegedly engages in acts of sexual intercourse and other sexual abuse. She also has no memory of the events, according to prosecutors.
    
Apartment Victim 4: A female acquaintance of Cheng’s who spent several nights at his apartment from 2020 to 2022 is seen on videos apparently unconscious as Cheng allegedly commits sex acts. The woman has no memory of the events, according to prosecutors.

Another patient, who is unidentified, appears in a video similar to those involving the hospital victims, according to prosecutors.

Videos of other women allegedly being sexually assaulted were also recovered with the conduct taking place in Cheng’s Queens apartment as well as in Westchester County, Manhattan, Las Vegas, in and near San Francisco and in Thailand, prosecutors said.

ABC News’ Teddy Grant contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

On Air Now

Now Playing On X101

Download The X101 App


Site Designed & Hosted by Eves Digital