PAULA T. DOW, Acting Essex County Prosecutor

For Immediate Release
Friday, October 03, 2003

Short Hills Eye Doctor Is Sentenced In Criminal Sexual Contact Case

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Paula T. Dow announced today the sentencing of Dr. Richard Robbins, age 40, of

Short Hills, New Jersey. The sentence culminated a lengthy investigation that began in 2001 into the sexual abuse

of female patients under Dr. Robbins’ care.

Earlier this year an Essex County Grand jury returned an indictment against Dr. Robbins, charging him with

having committed the crime of criminal sexual contact upon six of his female patients, and an undercover female

Essex County Investigator. The indictment spanned a period from March 1, 2000 through June 20, 2001, during

which time Dr. Robbins touched the breasts of those females during the course of performing eye examinations at his

former practice located in Short Hills, New Jersey. Dr. Robbins pleaded guilty on June 30, 2003 to seven counts of

criminal sexual contact.

During the sentence, Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Robert Laurino told the court that Dr. Robbins had

violated his Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm,” and breached the duty of care and trust he owed to his patients.

Superior Court Judge Thomas R. Vena, in addressing Dr. Robbins prior to the imposition of sentence, noted that

“the harm you caused was enormous.”

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Dr. Robbins permanently surrendered his license to practice medicine. He was

sentenced to three years probation with mandatory counseling, and was subjected to numerous court costs and fees.

He was also directed to reimburse the Prosecutor’s Office $2,085 for the costs associated with its investigation.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Dow noted the courageous efforts of Essex County Investigator Janine

Straccamore, whose service in an undercover capacity led to the arrest of Dr. Robbins. “She put herself in harms

way to prevent other women from being similarly abused” Prosecutor Dow stated.
CONTACT: CHARLOTTE L. SMITH, Executive Assistant Prosecutor (973) 621-4623

Essex County Prosecutor's Office (973) 621-4700

Essex County Courts Building

Newark, New Jersey 07102