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Former Norwell pediatrician accused of sexually assaulting young girls during annual checkups

NORWELL, Mass — A former pediatrician practicing out of Norwell is facing a slew of charges for allegedly sexually assaulting two girls for a number of years during their physical examinations.

Two former female patients of Dr. Richard Kauff told Norwell police in October that the former South Shore Medical Center doctor sexually abused them during their annual checkups from a young age until adulthood, according to a police report filed in Hingham District Court.

Kauff has been charged with 13 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years old and four counts of rape of a child under 16 years old with force, according to the documents.

Attempts to reach Kauff or his attorney, Richard Grundy, for comment were unsuccessful on Tuesday.

The allegations came to light when one of the two women posted to a Facebook group called South Shore Mamas, asking if it was normal for a doctor to inappropriately touch a female’s genitalia during physicals.

Another woman, who did not know the original poster, replied saying she had similar experiences, according to the police report. When the two women exchanged private messages, they realized they were both former patients of Kauff.

Both women told police the alleged acts occurred when Kauff would tell them to lie down on a medical table.

The woman who replied to the post then went to Norwell police, telling detectives that Kauff had inappropriately touched her private parts during her annual exams a total of 13 times from the time she was seven until she was 18 or 19 years old. According to court documents, the woman told detectives that her parents were sometimes in the room during the exams but Kauff would position his body so that their view was obscured.

Four days later, the woman who authored the original post also went to Norwell police, informing them that Kauff would allegedly abuse her during her annual checkups. According to the police report, she also told investigators that Kauff would position his body in a manner to obscure her parent’s view.

Both women told investigators they believed the alleged acts to be a routine part of the medical exam. The woman who first posted on Facebook told officers that she was only made aware when she disclosed to her therapist how uncomfortable Kauff made her during her visits. According to the police report, when the woman shared details, the therapist informed her she needed to contact the police.

Confused and seeing the guidance, the alleged victim then made the Facebook post, according to court documents.

The woman who replied only began to question her exams after seeing that post, according to the police report.

Both women reported that they contacted their older sisters who were also patients of Dr. Kauff, who told them they did have similar experiences during their annual checkups.

According to the police report, Norwell detectives contacted a pediatric sexual assault nurse practitioner, who informed them “an internal pelvic exam was not a normal or routine exam, nor should it be done at a routine pediatric exam.” The nurse encouraged the detectives to contact the Board of Registration in Medicine to file a complaint and noted the alleged victims could follow suit.

Both alleged victims told detectives they intend to file complaints with the board of medicine, according to the police report.

The police report details that investigators visited Kauff at his home on October 11 and disclosed to the former doctor the nature of the allegations. The report details that Kauff became “extremely upset” and told investigators that he had practiced medicine for four decades without issue.

South Shore Health, the parent company of South Shore Medical Center, provided the following statement to Boston 25 News:

We are deeply concerned by what we have heard reported in the media. 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 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.

—  South Shore Health

Kauff retired from South Shore Medical Center in 2022, according to an archived blog post on South Shore Health’s website.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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