Florida Doc Found Dead in Ditch Days After Arrest for Allegedly Raping Unconscious Patients

Collier County Sheriff's Office
Collier County Sheriff's Office

The Florida doctor who was arrested last week for allegedly raping two patients while they were blacked out on sedatives, tequila, and laughing gas was found dead on Monday evening in a ditch near his home, an incident report says.

Cops have emphasized that the death of 54-year-old Dr. Eric Andrew Salata has not been ruled a suicide yet because an autopsy hasn’t been completed, but a spokesperson told The Daily Beast his death “does not appear to be suspicious.”

An incident report says Salata’s body was found during a welfare check—called in by authorities who noted his ankle monitor hadn’t moved for eight hours in the middle of the day on Monday.

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A responding officer said he spotted Salata’s boot sticking up in a wooded area, the report said. He then discovered the rest of Salata’s lifeless body, which was cold to the touch once he reached him Monday evening. The officer noted that he had a gunshot wound on the right side of his head and a handgun was resting next to his leg.

Before his death, the report said Salata left two notes, his credit cards, and his wedding ring at his Naples home.

Salata had reportedly practiced medicine in southwest Florida for more than 30 years until last week, when he was arrested on charges of of sexual battery on a physically helpless person, police said.

Police said two former patients accused him of sedating and raping them during a cosmetic procedure while they were blacked out from a mixture of tequila, laughing gas, and sedatives.

The patients, who were not named by authorities, allegedly told police they regained consciousness while Salata performed sex acts on them without their consent.

The doctor was arrested on Nov. 21 and posted a bail of $100,000 the following day, records show.

A spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff's Office said the agency would not release further details about Salata’s death. Naples police did not respond to additional questions about the alleged rapes.

Adam Horowitz, an attorney for one of Salata’s victims, released a statement to The Daily Beast on Tuesday saying Salata “escaped justice.”

“It is disappointing and frustrating that Dr. Salata has escaped justice,” Horowitz wrote in an email. “It took tremendous courage for my client to tell her truth. She was ready to hold him accountable in court.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. You can also text or dial 988.

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