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December
18 Tuesday
2007

Alleged rapist owns locally

A Brooklyn man charged with posing as a doctor and on charges of rape and sexual abuse owns numerous parcels of land in Delaware and Otsego counties, including property in Walton advertised as a spa.

Michail Sorodsky, 60, of 1625 Emmons Ave., Brooklyn, also has a mailing address at 636 Main St., Franklin, where he receives tax bills for properties he owns locally, including in Walton, Mark Jacobs, Walton assessor, said Thursday.

He was charged with first-degree rape, a class B violent felony, unlicensed practice of medicine, first-degree scheme to defraud and numerous counts of fourth-degree aggravated sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and forcible touching.

According to the felony complaint announced Dec. 6 by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Sorodsky preyed on Russian-speaking residents of New York City for several years.

He advertised in Russian-language newspapers to solicit patients and portrayed himself as a medical doctor who administered special medications.

Sorodsky claimed that he guaranteed the effectiveness of his treatments and that he could cure many ailments, including cancer.

The investigation found some of Sorodsky's cancer patients died prematurely because they believed in Sorodsky's ability to cure them.

Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup said Friday he was not aware of the case or of the investigation. He said he has not received any complaints about Sorodsky.

Sorodsky owned and operated Holistic Skin and Spa Clinic, at 2701 Ocean Ave., in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

According to Sorodsky's website, www.holisticskin.com, he runs a bed and breakfast sanatorium "nestled in the historic town of Walton.

"Holistic Skin & Spa is smack in the middle of Mother Nature's playground. Olympic size swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, football and soccer fields, gulf course, bike rides, etc. ... The waterways including over 11,000 acres of reservoirs offer the best fishing and canoeing in the world, and much, much more," according to the site.

Jacobs said he found records in Walton of Sorodsky owning a house at 49 East St. and a small, unusable piece of land on Stockton Avenue. The East Street house is a derelict property with broken windows and debris on the porches and lawn.

Jacobs said he had met Sorodsky and his wife, Beverly. He said Beverly Sorodosky has distinctive orange hair.

Michael Bordinger, of Bordinger Real Estate, said she knew them from real-estate transactions.

``They were always dirty and looked like they were homeless, although they always insisted on cash transactions," she said.

Bordinger said a property search that revealed that the couple own at least eight properties in Delaware County, including a mobile-home park on Grange Hall Road in Franklin and properties at 430 Shear Road, Masonville; 175 Ellsworth Ave., Fleischmanns; Apex Road, Tompkins; 5322 Peakes Brook Road, Delhi; 24 Easy St., Deposit; and on state Route 10 in Deposit.

She said the properties she found were purchased under Holistic Skin & Spa or Opti-Plus International.

In Otsego County, Bordinger said Sorodsky owned properties at 23 and 25 Columbia St. and 34 West St. in Oneonta, on North Main Street in Milford and on Little Wood Road in Morris.

Matthew Glazer, Cuomo's public relations spokesman, said he could not comment on whether the investigation encompassed Sorodsky's activities in Delaware County.

Glazer was not able to provide the name of Sorodsky's attorney.

Cuomo said in the media release that people "need to know about these charges of despicable acts and should contact my office if they have received treatment at this clinic.

"This man allegedly lied to people who were sick and in need, and then administered so-called treatments when he had no training," Cuomo continued. "Even more heinous, he allegedly raped and sexually abused female patients when they were unconscious."

Since at least 2005, Sorodsky performed physical examinations, took patients' blood, administered what he claimed were medications and committed acts of sexual abuse on his female patients, Cuomo said. In addition, Sorodsky is accused of bilking patients out of thousands of dollars for possibly harmful treatments.

Sorodsky is also charged with allegedly raping a patient who he rendered unconscious. In summer 2006, Sorodsky told a female patient to drink a liquid, which caused her to lose consciousness. The patient awoke when she felt Sorodsky naked and lying on top of her and discovered evidence that she had been raped. This patient and others were subjected to numerous acts of sexual abuse, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said in light of the allegations in this case, those who received treatment at Sorodsky's clinic might wish to consult a licensed physician.

Sorodsky was arraigned in Kings County Criminal Court on Nov. 30. His bail was set at $1 million cash or $3 million bond.