February 22, 2018

Charges Dismissed Against Surgeon Accused Of Strangling Nurse

Charges Dismissed Against Surgeon Accused Of Strangling Nurse

By Angelina Gibson 

Update 2/22/2018 at 10:00pm

A judge has dismissed charges against surgeon Venkatesh Sashthakonar who was accused of strangling a nurse last month. According to the Long Island doctor's attorney, Bruce Barkett, the strangulation accusations made by the nurse were false.

The Nassau County District Attorney, Madeline Singas' office released the following statement on Tuesday,

After thoroughly reviewing this case, interviewing witnesses and analyzing surveillance video, it has been determined there is not enough evidence to support that a crime occurred,” said spokesman, Brendan Brosh. 

Sashthakonar has not named his accuser publicly and it is unclear if she will face criminal charges for falsely reporting a crime.  

“What happened in the past month was a nightmare," said Sashthakonar's wife after the charges were dropped. 

In an interview, Sashthakonar asked,"can I ever get my reputation back?" He is likely to return to work this week. 


Original post 1/24/2018 

According to police, a 51-year-old nurse was choked by a Long Island surgeon on Monday at Nassau University Medical Center for not following his patient care order. The weight loss surgeon, Venkatesh Sashthakonar, allegedly fled the scene but was later arrested. 

The complaint alleges the surgeon, 44, and unnamed nurse, 51, had a disagreement after the nurse allegedly gave a patient medication at the wrong time. Police say that Sashthakonar then removed an elastic cord from his sweatshirt and used it to choke the nurse from behind. 

According to police, Sashthkonar told the victim, “I should kill you for this.”

The unnamed nurse was left gasping for air and later treated for substantial neck pain, reports Newsday.  

The strangulation charge was “overblown” said Sasthakonar’s attorney, Melvyn Roth. 

Dr. Shashthakonar pleaded not guilty to charges of strangulation and assault, he was released on $3,500 cash bail. Online court record show he is due back in court on February 26, 2018. 

Nassau University Medical Center, where the two work, released a statement, 

"Following the alleged incident that occurred on January 22, 2018, the hospital cooperated with the Nassau County Police Department. At no time was patient safety effected. The doctor has been suspended until further notice,"



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