A Florida doctor accused of raping his sedated patients was found dead Monday in what has been ruled a suicide, authorities said.
An officer found Eric Andrews Salata, 54, dead in a ditch Monday after receiving a call for a wellness check about eight hours after his ankle monitor apparently went off, according to the incident report, which adds that a weapon was found nearby. his body.
The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, a spokesman for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said.
Policeman salata arrested on Nov. 21 at his clinic, the now-shuttered Pura Vida Medical Spa in Naples, after two women alleged he raped them while receiving sedated cosmetic medical treatments at the spa, according to a Naples Police Department statement posted on Facebook.
Salata was arrested on two counts of sexual assault on a physically defenseless person, and detectives executed a search warrant at the clinic looking for evidence, according to police. He was released on $100,000 bail the next day and ordered to surrender his passport and wear a GPS monitor until his arraignment, which was set for Dec. 19, according to jail and court records. court.
Salata operated the spa, which offered cosmetic procedures including botox, fillers, fat reduction and vein treatment, with his wife, according to a online business directory In the area. Salata’s wife was present in the office at the time of the arrest, according to the arrest report.
Salata’s wife did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Both the spa’s website and its Facebook page were inaccessible on Thursday.
One of the victims, 51, told police Salata raped her on Oct. 24 when he was supposed to administer a skin tightening procedure, according to the arrest report. Salata prescribed an anti-anxiety medication before the procedure, which she described as «excruciatingly painful.» She also gave him laughing gas and a clear liquid that she believed to be tequila during the procedure and before raping her, which she became aware of as she drifted in and out of consciousness and then remembered when she was fully aware.
The second victim, 72, told police Salata raped her on Nov. 21, the same day she was arrested, after administering laughing gas to her after a fat reduction procedure, according to the arrest report. That victim told police that she «couldn’t believe» that he had raped her because of her age, according to the arrest report.
NBC affiliate WBBH of Florida reported days after Salata’s arrest a third woman had come forward accusing him of rape.
Lt. Bryan McGinn, public information officer for the Naples Police Department, would not confirm the number of additional victims that came forward to NBC News, but said the department received «numerous reports of suspicious or illegal activity» perpetrated by Salata.
A lawyer for one of the alleged victims. told WBBH on Wednesday that they plan to file a civil lawsuit against his estate and that they expect the death toll to skyrocket after Salata’s death.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741, or visit TalkingSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.