Decades Later, Sex Assault Trial Against Doctor Commences

The Worcester Telegram reports that opening arguments were held this week in U.S. District Court in a civil jury case in which a doctor allegedly sexually abused an 11-year-old boy nearly 40 years ago when the doctor was a student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The defendant is Dr. Richard B. Edison, now a plastic surgeon living in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and practicing in Hollywood, Fla. Plaintiff Timothy Clark says he was sexually abused from 1974 to 1977 by Mr. Edison, who lived in Shrewsbury Garden apartments when Mr. Clark did and then moved to Brandywine apartments when Mr. Clark’s family moved there.

Mr. Clark also said that he was abused by Mr. Edison, who he said provided him with marijuana and alcohol, after Mr. Clark moved to Lincoln Village in Worcester, but skipped school with a friend and both of them were picked up by Mr. Edison and taken to his apartment.

Mr. Clark said that he repressed the memory of the abuse until he and his brother visited their mother’s grave on Mother’s Day 2008. The suit was filed in Worcester Superior Court soon after that and then removed to federal court at Dr. Edision’s request.

In a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the suit, defense lawyer David K. McCay of Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee argued that the three-year statute of limitations should have begun no later than when Mr. Clark turned 18. Worcester lawyer Stephen Gordon said the clock began ticking only when his client recovered the memory of the abuse and realized its connection to his post-traumatic stress disorder.