Retired Pediatrician Accused of Wrongdoing in Lawsuit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Len Besthoff takes a look at accusations of sexual assault that occurred decades ago against a now-retired pediatrician.

    A Connecticut pediatrician who practiced medicine for more than a half century is fighting back, as he faces accusations of sexual assault.

    The complaint against Dr. Robert Rackliffe was filed earlier this week.

    In the complaint, a John Doe and a James Doe accuse Dr. Rackliffe of sexually assaulting them when they were his pediatric patients in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Rackliffe, now retired and in his 90s, authored a book called "From Bombs to Babies," that documented his half century as a pediatrician in times of war and peace.

    Ryan McGuigan is the attorney representing James Doe and John Doe.

    "This case is not about money. It’s not about revenge. It’s about a sense of right and wrong, and righting a wrong.”

    James Doe and John Doe allege Dr. Rackliffe asked their mothers to leave the examination room during almost every doctor’s visit, after which he would sexually assault them. The alleged abuse resulted in psychological pain and anguish for both, they claim.

    "Even a layman, you would conclude that it would damage you. And it has been lingering and long term damage,” McGuigan said.

    Dr. Rackliffe used to practice medicine in a building on Hart Street in New Britain, but it has been decades since he worked there, according to a staffer at the pediatric office using the space there now.

    The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters made multiple attempts to speak with Dr. Rackliffe at his Farmington home this week. The retired pediatrician would not come to the door when we visited.

    Rackliffe’s attorney released a statement on behalf of the doctor.

    "Dr. Rackliffe, who is now retired, will not respond to outrageous anonymous charges of events that are alleged to have taken place over 40 years ago. In his 50 years in practice he has always cared for his patients with dignity, respect and in accordance with appropriate medical standards. No such allegations have ever been made against him. He will respond to these charges in court at the appropriate time where he expects to be fully vindicated.”

    The attorney for John Doe and James Doe said his clients did not go to police with the accusations because the alleged crimes are beyond the statute of limitations.