Let’s face it: The glum-faced loner avoided by all is not usually a problem to anyone — the perviest guys are those you’d never suspect of being twisted. Possible case in point: Dr. Roger Ian Hardy, 55, a reproductive endocrinologist and medical director at a New England-based fertility clinic. Allegedly, Hardy rubbed patients' genitals, attempted to stimulate them using a hose, and touched their breasts while they were anesthetized. According to the various claims made by patients and colleagues, Hardy’s molestation of women under the guise of medical propriety may have persisted for a decade.
According to an online profile, Hardy was highly regarded by patients, who generously rated him with a 3.5 out of a total four. He won the Patients' Choice Award in 2008 as well as Compassionate Doctor Recognition in 2009. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Hardy completed his fellowship at Harvard Medical School's Brigham & Women`s hospital. Currently out of circulation — Hardy resigned his medical license in January amid fresh allegations and a new investigation — the doctor received his first complaint from a patient way back in 2004, the Boston Globe reported, though the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine closed the case without taking action. Records indicate that over the years, employees of the clinic reported witnessing at least three other incidents, while staff alerted other physicians of “Dr. Hardy’s misconduct." Despite alarm bells rung by a total of 18 witnesses, including nurses and surgical technicians, Hardy had continued to practice medicine at the Fertility Centers of New England, which operates from nine offices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. (Hardy's name has been deleted from their website.)
According to the Globe, the patient who complained in 2004 sent copies of her letter to Dr. Vito Cardone, founder of the clinic, and Dr. Joseph A. Hill, owner of the business since 2003. Cardone told the Boston newspaper that he did not recall the patient complaint, while Hill did not return phone calls. Board documents indicate Hill referred to Hardy as “his leading producer" and he also said his human resources department received only one formal complaint against Hardy in 2004 and he feared the “witch hunt” was trying to put him out of business. Cardone also told the Globe he sold the business to Hill in 2003, though he continued to work there until 2006, after which he founded another practice.
Why did the medical board take no action? Having obtained the redacted records from the case, the Globe discovered a doctor who worked alongside Hardy had told investigators that nurses were afraid of losing their jobs. In fact, having reported an incident to their superiors, one nurse and one technician were instructed to remain quiet. Despite a kibosh put on the subject, anonymous reports had been filed yet still the medical board passively allowed Hardy to continue seeing patients. Everything changed this past October, when a physician specializing in reproduction filed a formal complaint.
The whistle-blowing doctor contacted the board after a patient confided that Hardy had rubbed her genitals under the guise of examining her surgical incision. Several times the patient saw Hardy unchaperoned in his Reading office in 2011. (The American Medical Association has long recommended chaperones during intimate examinations, a practice once generally followed by all male OB/GYNs.) During her visits, Hardy told this patient that his sexual touching was part of her treatment, according to the Globe. The doctor who complained on this patient's behalf had known Hardy years ago and referred to the situation as “really awkward and difficult but she knew that she had to tell someone,” the Boston newspaper quoted.