Florida doctor accused of sexually assaulting two patients while they were under sedation found dead in a ditch


COLLIER COUNTY, FL- The New York Post reports that a Florida doctor who stood accused of raping two women while they were under sedation for cosmetic procedures was found dead in a ditch near his home, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Dr. Eric Andrew Salata, 54, of Naples was charged last month with two counts of sexual battery to physically helpless persons, in this case two females aged 51 and 73-years-old.

The Naples Daily News reported that Salata was found dead in a ditch. According to an incident report cited by the Daily Beast, the doctor’s body was found during a welfare check after his ankle monitor had remained stationary for several hours.

Investigators initially found Salata’s boot sticking up out of the ground in a local wooded area, leading police to the ditch where the doctor’s body—complete with a gunshot wound to the head and a handgun lying nearby—was found.

Salata, who had been practicing medicine for 30 years left behind two notes, his credit cards and his wedding ring at his home prior to his death, the report cited by the Daily Beast read.

While his death had not yet been ruled a suicide at press time because an autopsy had not been yet completed, a spokesperson told the outlet that “it does not appear to be suspicious.” A later report by NBC News confirmed his death was ruled a suicide.

A spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office did not release additional details about Salata’s death.

The sexual assaults became known when a 51-year-old victim contacted police. She told investigators Salata administered laughing gas during a procedure in October when she felt him touching her private parts, according to a report obtained by the Naples Daily News. When the victim questioned Salata about what he was doing, he stopped his conduct.


However he then administered additional laughing gas to her, as well as an unknown liquid, believed to be tequila, to drink, whereby she became intoxicated and passed out. She claimed she later saw Salata performing oral sex on her and penetrating her.

The second victim told investigators that Salata raped her during her procedure.

Bond was set at $100,000 by Judge Michal Provost, who posted cash bail to the courts and was able to bond himself out of jail, the Naples Daily News reported.

NBC News reported that Salata’s spa—Pura Vida Medical Spa in Naples—was shuttered after the two women made their allegations.

Salata’s spa offered services such as Botox, fillers, fat reduction, vein treatment and other cosmetic procedures. His wife was also a partner in the business, according to an online directory of businesses in the area. According to the arrest report, Salata’s wife, who wasn’t named, was in the office at the time of his arrest.

NBC News said they reached out to his wife for comment; however none was immediately received.

The initial victim told police she showed up at the spa for a skin-tightening procedure. She said Salata prescribed her an anti-anxiety drug before the procedure, which he told her would be “excruciatingly painful.” That was the drug she was under the influence of when she was sexually assaulted.

The second victim, age 72, told investigators Salata raped her on Nov. 21—the same day he was arrested—after he administered laughing gas to her following a fat-reduction procedure. In that incident, the victim told police she “couldn’t believe” he had raped her due to her age.

NBC affiliate WBBH of Fort Myers reported days after his arrest that a third woman had come forward accusing Salata of rape.

Lt. Bryan McGinn of the Naples Police Department, their spokesman, would not confirm the number of additional victims who have come forward; however he said the department has received “numerous reports of suspicious or illegal activity” by Salata.

An attorney for one of the victims told WBBH last week that they are planning to bring a civil lawsuit against the doctor’s estate, and they expect the number of other victims to skyrocket following Salata’s suicide.

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