Have You Experienced Sexual Assault Or Abuse?

New York Dr. Cheng Accused of Sexual Assault & Misconduct

Dr. Zhi Alan Cheng is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several women, some of whom were his patients at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens. This is not the first case of sexual abuse involving the New York-Presbyterian system. People who believe they were victims can contact Helping Survivors to find an experienced attorney to help them fight for damages against Cheng and New York-Presbyterian.

Dr. Zhi Alan Cheng faces charges of sexually assaulting acquaintances in his home and patients at his job at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens. Some victims claim the hospital and other doctors were aware of Cheng’s actions but did nothing to stop him.

Victims of Cheng have legal rights and options. They can file suit against Cheng and his enablers, including his places of employment. That includes New York-Presbyterian Hospital, though there may be others.  

The Charges Against Dr. Zhi Alan Cheng

Cheng was first arrested in December 2022 and charged with two counts of rape, criminal sexual acts, assault, and sexual abuse. He was also charged with four counts of unlawful surveillance for making videos of his assaults.

These charges stemmed from the rape of an acquaintance in his apartment. While at Cheng’s apartment, the victim saw videos of Cheng raping her and several other women. These videos revealed that some of his sexual assaults occurred at the hospital. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz then pursued additional charges. A grand jury indicted Cheng on the following charges:

  • 10 counts of predatory sexual assault
  • Three counts of rape in the first degree
  • Seven counts of sexual abuse in the first degree
  • 11 counts of unlawful surveillance in the second degree
  • Eight counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance
  • Four counts of criminal possession of a weapon

The drug charges resulted from video evidence found on Cheng’s phone and digital storage devices and reports of his victims. The evidence showed Cheng was drugging his victims with potent sedatives to render them unconscious and facilitate his assaults. Drugs seized included fentanyl, ketamine, cocaine, LSD, and MDMA. They also seized propofol and sevoflurane, drugs usually used in health care settings.

Cheng faces multiple sentences of 25 years to life for his current charges. More victims may still come forward as they realize Cheng also assaulted them.

Who Is Dr. Zhi Alan Cheng?

Dr. Zhi Alan Cheng went to Albany Medical College and later completed his residency at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He received his license to practice medicine in June 2020.

Cheng was a gastroenterologist, a doctor specializing in the digestive system. At the time of his arrest, he worked at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens. The hospital fired him after his arrest last year. Cheng has also lost his medical license.

He is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women in other locations as well, including Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Thailand. Police identified these locations through the videos they recovered. They have yet to identify some of the victims.

Last Date Modified
February 28, 2024
Content Reviewed By:

Kathryn Kosmides
Managing Director | Helping Survivors

Ongoing Investigation Into Cheng

District Attorney Katz urges people who think they may have been victims of Cheng to contact the Special Victims Bureau at (718) 286-6505 or SpecialVictims@queensda.org

Doctors and other workers at New York-Presbyterian can also come forward if they witnessed Cheng’s behavior. Victims and witnesses can make anonymous claims and reports through an attorney. Before or after contacting the District Attorney, get in touch with a trained professional sexual assault attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. 

Ongoing Investigation Into Cheng

District Attorney Katz urges people who think they may have been victims of Cheng to contact the Special Victims Bureau at (718) 286-6505 or SpecialVictims@queensda.org

Doctors and other workers at New York-Presbyterian can also come forward if they witnessed Cheng’s behavior. Victims and witnesses can make anonymous claims and reports through an attorney. Before or after contacting the District Attorney, get in touch with a trained professional sexual assault attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. 

New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Negligence and Misconduct

People sexually abused at hospitals and other health care facilities can sue for compensation based on negligence and other torts. At least one victim is claiming that New York-Presbyterian Hospital covered up Cheng’s sexual assaults.

The unnamed patient claims she reported getting a painful injection from Cheng that rendered her unconscious. She did not know at the time that she had been sexually assaulted as well. She learned about the assault when the police recovered Cheng’s videos.

The hospital assembled a lineup of doctors, and the patient identified Cheng. However, the hospital did not collect any evidence of what the injection was or test her clothing or sheets for signs of sexual assault. The day after the lineup, Cheng treated the patient again during her surgery.

The lawsuit alleges that another doctor drew her blood to test for HIV without telling her. No one at the hospital told her they thought she might be a victim of sexual assault. The hospital did provide her with the New York State Sexual Assault Victim Bill of Rights among her many discharge papers.

The patient was in the hospital for gallstones, so providing her with that information was unusual if staff didn’t suspect she was a victim. The hospital did not notify the police or take any action against Cheng.

The patient’s lawsuit claims that there is a pattern of ignoring patient abuse complaints at the hospital. New York-Presbyterian was also part of the Dr. Robert Hadden sexual abuse scandal and resulting litigation. Dr. Darius Paduch, another alleged serial sexual abuser, also worked in the New York-Presbyterian hospital system at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. 

Another of Cheng’s victims questions lax controls over sedatives at the hospital. She was an acquaintance of Cheng’s—not a patient—but she believes the sedatives he used before he sexually assaulted her came from the hospital. Her attorney points out that dispensing medications in the hospital is highly regulated and that other doctors may have known what Cheng was doing but failed to stop him.

Victims can sue if the hospital knew or should have known about Cheng’s abuse. The hospital and other doctors there owe patients a duty of care. When they breach that duty and patients suffer harm, they are liable for damages.

Victims can file individual lawsuits or become part of class actions. As of late 2023, there were no class action lawsuits based on Cheng’s sexual abuse, but that may happen as more victims come forward.

Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer for a Dr. Cheng Lawsuit Claim

Civil lawsuits against doctors and hospitals are complex, and defendants and their insurance companies often drag them out as long as possible. A skilled and experienced attorney can help you file an individual lawsuit or help you become a part of a class action.

An attorney can also help you act quickly by investigating, gathering evidence, and filing suit. Fast action is critical in New York, as the extra time allowed to file lawsuits under the Adult Survivors Act expired in November 2023. That law permitted adult survivors of sexual abuse to file suits regardless of when their assaults occurred.

There are renewed calls for New York to lift the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits permanently. Victims such as Cheng’s deserve not to worry about whether they are filing their lawsuits on time. They were assaulted, and they deserve justice.

In the meantime, victims of Cheng who file lawsuits now must do so within the three-year statute of limitations. Cheng drugged his victims, and many did not know of their assaults until they showed up in his videos. 

Victims such as those rendered unconscious by Cheng might not be aware they were assaulted. They need an experienced lawyer who can argue that the discovery rule in New York allows them more time to file suit. This law states that the statute of limitations starts running when people discover their injury or reasonably should have.

If you believe you were the victim of sexual abuse by Dr. Cheng or another doctor, you can seek justice and compensation through a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and those parties who enabled the abuse. 

An experienced sexual abuse lawyer understands what victims go through and can offer support. Sexual abuse attorneys are compassionate advocates who have helped many clients through doctor sexual assault cases. They know the legal system in your state and how to deal with doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies. 

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