Police: Dover Twp. physical therapist fondled patients
Police in Dauphin County have accused a Dover Township physical therapist of sexually touching two adult patients without their permission — including an amputee.
Rene Paran, 39, of the 1900 block of Deerfield Drive, is charged with 14 counts of second-degree misdemeanor indecent assault without consent for one man and three counts of the same offense for the other man, according to court records.
Paran has not yet had bail set in his two criminal cases. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday, April 19, on both sets of allegations, court records state.
According to charging documents, Paran worked at the Gardens at Blue Ridge nursing home in Susquehanna Township between September and February, and he typically saw eight to 10 patients a day.
Two nursing home patients told Susquehanna Township Police that Paran fondled their genitals under the guise of changing their pants.
One of the patients — whose leg is amputated above the knee — said Paran would always have a reason to take the patient's pants off and described the alleged assaults "as quick and planned," charging documents state. He also told police he believes Paran is a predator, documents state.
"It got to the point where (the patient) would fight Paran and would have to pull his right leg up in front of him to stop him from trying to take his pants off," documents allege. "He didn't want Paran to continue to touch him so he would do this to prevent it."
The patient didn't initially report what Paran was doing to him "because he was intimidated and thought it would affect his treatment and procedures if he caused problems," according to documents.
The second patient also told police Paran would always find "some reason" to make the patient remove his pants, after which Paran would touch and make comments about the man's genitals, police allege.
Initially, Paran denied inappropriately touching either man, documents state.
But during a Feb. 27 police interview he admitted to fondling the two men and said that he's been struggling with his sexual identity, according to charging documents.
"He stated that he prays every day about him questioning his sexuality and that culturally it is unacceptable," documents state. "He advised that he was exploring with (the patients)."
Paran said he didn't intend for the patients to feel abused and said "he should not have used his position as a physical therapist to explore and satisfy his sexual curiosity," charging documents state.
License suspended: The State Board of Physical Therapy on March 15 temporarily suspended Paran's license to practice, according to state records.
A hearing will be scheduled to determine whether the suspension should remain in place or be made permanent, records state.
The allegations make Paran "an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety," according to his suspension order.
A phone number for Paran could not be found. His defense attorney, Lee Cohen, could not be reached for comment on Friday, April 13.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.