A retired Norwell pediatrician is accused of sexually assaulting two girls during their annual checkups over a number of years, according to court records.
Dr. Richard A. Kauff, 68, who had practiced at South Shore Medical Center, is charged with four counts of child rape and a dozen counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, legal filings show.
According to a police report filed in Hingham District Court, the investigation unfolded early last month when a woman posted an anonymous message on a Facebook group asking if it was normal for her pediatric doctor to have conducted invasive vaginal examinations on her during yearly checkups when she was a girl.
The woman received an “overwhelming” response that such behavior wasn’t typical and another woman later reached out to her on Facebook to share a similar account of alleged violations by Kauff when she was a child, according to the report.
The two women determined after communicating “that they were both patients” of Kauff as children, the report said. They gave separate statements to police on Oct. 5 and Oct. 9, the report said.
When police spoke to Kauff about the allegations on Oct. 11, he “became extremely upset and didn’t understand how this could be,” adding that he had “practiced medicine for over 40 years without a single issue,” the report said.
He initially said he would come to the police station to speak with investigators further but later told a detective he had retained counsel and would not be making a statement, according to the report.
Kauff’s arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 20. The Patriot Ledger first reported the charges against Kauff.
“Dr. Kauff is a physician of 43 years, all of which were in pediatric medicine,” his lawyer, Richard D. Grundy, said in a phone interview. “And during that period of time there has never been a single [prior] complaint from a patient, fellow practitioner, colleague, or Board of Registration in Medicine. Literally nothing. ... I can assure you that Dr. Kauff has not raped or molested any of his patients.”
In speaking with investigators, one woman said Kauff had allegedly violated her during her annual exams from age 7 until she was 18 or 19 in 2002, according to the report.
The other woman told police that Kauff had done the same to her during annual exams beginning when she was 8 and ending when she was 18 or 19 in 2008.
Both women indicated that Kauff would ask them to count to three during the alleged assaults, the report said.
One woman said that while “a medical staff member would initially be in the exam room, medical staff were not present” during the alleged assaults, the report said. “She stated that on occasion her mother would be present in the room during her exam, but stated that Dr. Kauff, who she described as a man with a broad frame, would position himself in a way that would block her mother’s view from observing what Dr. Kauff was doing under her” hospital gown.
The other woman shared a similar account. She told police Kauff would “scoot her underwear down” and tell her “your mom/dad is right there I’m going to do it real quick,” the report said.
She “stated that although her mother/father was present during these visits, Dr. Kauff would position himself in a manner that what he was doing was obscured from their view,” the report said.
The women had never met each other before connecting on Facebook last month, police said. Both women said the alleged assaults occurred during exams at South Shore Medical Center locations in Kingston and Norwell, the report said.
“We are deeply concerned by what we have heard reported in the media,” medical center officials said in a statement Tuesday. “We are taking this very seriously and will cooperate fully with any investigation. At this point, our focus is on how to best assist and support all of our patients, families, and staff. We are also prepared to help the young women who have come forward with charges against this physician, a former pediatrician who is no longer affiliated with South Shore Medical Center, and will always be prepared to help any of our current or former patients.”
Kauff retired from South Shore Medical Center last year, according to a July 2022 posting on the company’s website, since deleted, that was headlined “A Farewell Message From Richard Kauff, MD.”