Local News

UNC Doctor Named in Boston Molestation Suits

Posted April 1, 2008

— A part-time faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has been named in four lawsuits alleging that he molested young boys while treating them in Boston decades ago.

Dr. Melvin Levine, an adjunct professor in UNC's Pediatrics Department and director of the Clinical Center for Development and Research, was chief of pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Boston from 1971 to 1985.

The lawsuits allege Levine fondled seven boys while treating them at the Boston hospital, where he specialized in children with developmental and educational difficulties.

Attorney Carmen Durso, who represents all seven alleged victims, said the first man came forward recently after seeing Levine's face on a book jacket in a bookstore.

Levine is a nationally known author of books on how children learn, and he has parlayed his work into appearance on Oprah Winfrey's talk show and on National Public Radio.

"Seeing the picture of him made him start thinking about what happened," Durso said, adding that others soon followed.

"They all basically said the same thing: He fondled their genitals and manipulated them," Durso said.

Levine's attorneys issued a statement denying the allegations.

"Dr. Levine is distressed about the distorted or misrepresented memories from decades past and questions the motivations," the statement said, noting that Levine has treated more than 15,000 children in his career.

Children's Hospital in Boston, which also has been named as a defendant in the suits, said in a statement that management "never had any complaint from any patient or parent of any patient suggesting inappropriate conduct of any nature by Dr. Levine."

Likewise, UNC Health Care said in a statement that Levine had a clean record since arriving at the medical school 21 years ago. He retired from full-time work in 2006 but continues to see patients twice a month in his unpaid, adjunct position, the statement said.

"No complaints have been levied against Dr. Levine in relation to his work at UNC. The health, care and safety of our patients is our primary concern," the statement said.

In addition to his books, Levine co-founded All Kinds of Minds with financier Charles Schwab. The nonprofit uses research on how children learn to produce programs for struggling students.


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  • Mom2two Apr 2, 2008

    I am not surprised at all; even if I knew him. To know is not to truly know, not even in your own home. Although I am not immediately suspicious of anyone who works with children, neither am I ever shocked when molestation accusations come forth against someone who chooses a profession working with children. I once used a pediatrician (who still works in Raleigh and Garner) that I was very impressed with. Great bedside manner, friendly, etc. Later found out he had been stopped numerous times by several police agencies, trolling for male prostitutes in a car registered to the pediatric practice. Not rumor; fact. (talked with one of the officers that stopped him) Of course, we immediately changed practices. Nothing surprises me. Not pessimistic, just realistic.

  • oldschooltarheel Apr 2, 2008

    lornadoone - if you have him on multiple cameras "manipulating" DD pediatric patients (like those indicted on the Carson murder where with her ATM cards & possibly her vehicle) then I am all about casting a jaundiced eye on the accused. The notion a DD person "remembered" the "manipulation" after seeing the doc's face on a book cover seems a bit incredible.

  • doodad Apr 2, 2008

    Children recognize inappropriate touching even if you don't explain anything to them. Because they are young and "innocent" their minds do not recognize fondling as adults would. It is very possible that these seven men remembered being touched 20 to 30 years ago but could not remember the name of the doctor, only what he looked like.

    One or two victims would sound shady but seven? I'm not calling this guy guilty nor will I assume that this is a witch hunt either. There should be records where these seven boys attended this medical center.

    Molestation is a sickening and deviant crime and society sould treat it as such.

  • momofthree Apr 2, 2008

    lornadoone....the reason I think this case is a little different is that it was so long ago and the information given to the public is very vague and minimal. For example the men accused in the recent UNC murders....there is actual video footage of them using her cards and actually finding them with the guys i-pod shortly after her murder. In this case above it happened so long ago and the info. is very vague. Of course the two men in the UNC murders case in still getting a fair trial as well as this physician. These are just personnel opinions.

  • iamforjustice Apr 2, 2008

    This man has treated over 15,000 patients and none have come forth in 21 years!!!! Move on to the next news please. This dude sees his face on a book? Well the Doc has been on Oprah and the whole world watches her and no one comes forth then?

  • chfdcpt Apr 2, 2008

    Remember the McMartin School trials? After lives and careers were destroyed, it turned out that the accusations of sexual assault and molestation were totatlly false. Seems we forget to learn from our past.

  • ANGEL+3 Apr 2, 2008

    gulf, i'm with you, hope he had someone in the room with him at all times

  • lornadoone Apr 2, 2008

    "Let a man walk in someones else boots before we condemn him, and judge him."

    Hokie, I'm not saying you did/do this... but it's funny that people here are saying to let him be innocent before proven guilty. In so many of the other stories involving crimes (i.e. some of the recent murders), people are ready to jump all over the accused. Hmm...

  • momofthree Apr 2, 2008

    Something about this story seems suspicious to me. Just like the Lacrosse case did when I first read that. I think we have all learned our lesson from the Duke lacrosse case. I think he is innocent until proven guilty.....there does not seem to be a lot of proof so far.

  • LaLa-Land Apr 1, 2008

    This is a very sad story and even if he is found innocent, his reputation is ruined, his name forever tarnished.