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Florida Doctor Accused Of Raping Patients Found Dead In Ditch

Naples, FL – A Florida doctor accused of drugging and raping at least 14 patients at a spa he operated with his wife was found dead in a ditch last week, according to police.

Dr. Eric Andrew Salata, who operated Pura Vida Medical Spa, was arrested on two counts of sexual battery to a physically helpless person on Nov. 21 after two women reported having been raped by the doctor while they were undergoing cosmetic procedures at the spa, WFLA reported.

The first victim, age 51, said she was prescribed Xanax prior to her appointment and that she agreed to use laughing gas to assist with the pain she was likely to experience, according to police.

She said Salata also offered her tequila, WFLA reported.

The woman said she ultimately lost consciousness and awoke at one point to find Salata performing oral sex on her, according to investigators.

She said she passed out again and that when she woke up, she discovered her doctor had raped her, police said.

The second victim, age 72, reported that Salata gave her laughing gas and increased the dose even further after he started massaging her, WFLA reported.

Police said she told them the doctor then raped her, leaving her with a bruised lip where he had kissed her.

Salata, 54, was reported to have been alone in the room with each victim when the alleged assaults occurred, WFLA reported.

Both victims underwent sexual assault examinations and evidence gathered from those exams was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for further analysis, police said.

Salata posted bond and was subsequently released from jail on an ankle monitor, WFLA reported.

His next court hearing was scheduled for Dec. 19.

But at approximately 6:17 p.m. on Nov. 30, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received a call asking them to conduct a welfare check on the doctor.

An unidentified person told investigators Salata had left his wedding ring, credit cards, and two notes at his home.

The content of the letters was not released.

The company overseeing his ankle monitor told deputies the device indicated Salata parked his vehicle at his house at 10 a.m. and walked towards Gail Boulevard, but did not show any further movement, WFLA reported.

The deputy headed over to Salata’s last known location and spotted a boot sticking out of a nearby wooded area, according to the CCSO.

The doctor’s body was found lying in a ditch with a gun on the ground beside him, WFLA reported.

He had a gunshot wound to his head.

Police said Salata’s body “appeared to be freshly deceased” and had no sign of decay.

His death was determined to be a suicide, CBS News reported.

In the days that followed, a dozen more women came forward and reported having been victimized by Salata, according to WINK.

A total of 14 women had levied allegations against the doctor as of Tuesday.

At least one woman has filed a lawsuit against the Pura Vida Medical Spa, CBS News reported.

“I would suspect the numbers much more than we presently know,” the victim’s attorney, Adam Horowitz, told the news outlet. “I’m hopeful that in time, any victims have the courage to come forward to report this to law enforcement to get a full account of what took place at this office.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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