A prominent University of Rochester professor drugged and raped one of his medical residents, threatened to “destroy her life,” and asked her boyfriend to murder his ex-wife, claims a harrowing complaint filed in New York state Supreme Court.
Johan Blickman, a professor in pediatrics and the vice chair of the school’s Department of Imaging Sciences, stands accused of forcing the woman into repeated sexual encounters and of taking photos of her while she was naked.
Blickman—the woman’s direct supervisor at Strong Memorial Hospital—allegedly made increasingly bizarre requests of her, “such as role-playing that she was a child patient and then molesting her, and having sexual contact with his dog.”
The woman is asking for $30 million in damages from the university, its hospital, and Blickman—all named as defendants in the suit. The complaint was first reported by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Blickman initially told the woman that she was “very smart and had enormous potential” and that he wanted to help her finish a stalled research project, according to the complaint.
On August 3, 2014, she went to his home to discuss the project, where he allegedly drugged and raped her. While she was unconscious, he told her that he had taken pictures of her, “with her face clearly visible, in embarrassing sexual situations,” the complaint states.
Blickman allegedly said he planned to use the photos to “humiliate” and “destroy” her if she reported him for the alleged assault. He threatened, according to the lawsuit, that “he would give her a failing grade on her pediatric rotation, have her terminated from the program, and destroy her life.”
Soon after that initial assault, Blickman allegedly asked the woman’s boyfriend—whom he had also threatened into silence—to “find information on his ex-wife,” the complaint states.
“Blickman implied that he wanted his ex-wife killed,” according to the suit.
“I want the problem to go away permanently,” he allegedly said. “It is very easy. She rides her bicycle every morning without a helmet and takes the same course daily.”
Meanwhile, Blickman “continued to coerce” Kaplan-List “to have sex with him, threatening her with exposure and sabotage of her career,” the complaint states.
At least one of those alleged encounters happened in his office.
The case names Blickman, the university, and Strong Memorial Hospital as defendants.
The hospital, the suit claims, “had a duty to protect” the woman, who was “physically, verbally, and sexually assaulted” by Blickman while he was working at the university and the hospital, the complaint alleges.
The university has said the woman’s lawyer contacted the school about the “inappropriate relationship” in 2016, two years after she left the institution. Rochester said it was unaware of the allegations before then and that it subsequently “took action based on our findings," according to a report by the Democrat and Chronicle.
Last week, the school received a new complaint with a full list of the allegations in the lawsuit, “some of which would be serious criminal offenses if proven true,” according to a statement by URMC spokesman Chip Partner.
Blickman, who has been with the university since 2009, was placed on paid leave in mid-January, Partner told the newspaper.
“We will review these new allegations as we prepare our response to the complaint, but we have not received a law-enforcement inquiry related to them,” he added, noting that there had been no previous allegations about Blickman before 2016. He reportedly declined to say whether any additional accusations popped up in the years since.