On October 18, 2022, a criminal complaint was filed against Dr. Zvi Levran in which he is charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old patient during a medical exam. Dr. Levran, 66, a urologist and sports medicine doctor in Metro Detroit, has worked with youth hockey programs in Michigan and Minnesota over the past two decades. Levran was arrested and initially charged in Oakland County with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Since then, Levran now faces 27 charges of criminal sexual conduct spanning 12 separate cases, with additional investigations outstanding.
According to media reports, the teen patient went to Dr. Levran’s home in Farmington Hills, MI, for a routine medical exam for the hockey team. The boy alleges Levran sexually assaulted him during the exam in his basement. Police documents show that Levran asked the player about his sexual history, including questions about the last time he had sex when he had last ejaculated, and questions about his ex-girlfriend. Levran asked the player to remove his clothing, down to his underwear, after which Levran performed a physical examination, including a hernia check, and asked him to do a number of yoga-like stretching exercises, which lasted for approximately 40 minutes. The boy claims Levran then asked him to take off his underwear, which he questioned. Levran repeated the request, and as the boy took off his underwear, Levran turned off all of the lights except for one, then asked the victim if he was ready for a relaxation massage. The player told the police he was reluctant but thought this was part of the exam. From there, according to what the player described to police, Levran sexually assaulted him.
“The victim said he was in shock and just wanted to leave. He said he never consented to anything that happened or asked for any of it. He thought he was only there to have his (injury) examined and leave,”
What We Know ABout Zvi Levran
- Levran was charged with two counts of third-degree sexual conduct in 48th district court on Wednesday for an alleged incident that took place in July 2022. He has not been arraigned on those charges.
- He also appeared for a probable cause conference on Wednesday in 47th district court, where he was arraigned on two separate cases, three charges in total. He entered a plea of not guilty on those charges.
- Levran, a 66-year-old urologist, is slated to appear for preliminary exams in the 10 cases out of the 47th district court on Feb. 28.
- He is being held in Oakland County (Mich.) Jail on bonds exceeding $2 million.
Since Levran’s arrest, 11 more people have described similar incidents of alleged abuse by Levran that have led to charges. He now faces 27 counts of criminal sexual conduct spanning 12 cases. Nine of those involve either former male hockey players or individuals Levran knew through the hockey community. Of the 12 charge cases, the age range of the complainants at the time of the alleged abuse is 14 to 50.
The earliest alleged incident of sexual abuse identified by The Athletic dates to 2003. Twin brothers went to see Levran for physical exams needed before they could play middle school sports. They were 13, and their family knew Levran because an older brother had played youth hockey with Levran’s son. Levran could get them in quickly for back-to-back appointments, a great convenience for a family shuttling four total kids to various sports practices.
At the appointment at Levran’s medical office in Livonia, the first brother said that Levran instructed him to lay down on the physician’s table and take off his pants. From there, Levran began feeling his testicles. Then, Levran lifted the head of the boy’s penis and began massaging the shaft of his penis with his thumb, prompting him to become erect. Levran next asked him to stand up to perform a hernia check, and Levran continued to touch the sides of his penis during that examination. “I remember at some point thinking if I show him I’m nervous, he’ll stop,” the first brother said. Levran eventually instructed the boy to put his clothes back on and then ended the appointment, acting as if nothing unusual had happened.
The second brother remembers Levran pinching his penis and touching him in a way that he became erect. He left the office feeling terrified that someone would find out what happened. “I felt like I was being forced … to participate in a sexual act I wasn’t consenting to,” he said. “I felt like this was going to be found out and that everyone would find out.”
The two brothers eventually talked and discovered they had similar experiences with Levran. For years afterward, both feared going to a doctor for a physical. When their older brother sent them a news article about Levran’s arrest, they called the tip line set up by the police. They subsequently recounted their experiences to federal authorities, who are assisting with out-of-state interviews.
Prosecutors said they expect more charges to be filed involving new victims. Jeff King, the Farmington Hills police chief, said that a tip line set up after Levran’s arrest has received leads from all over the country and Canada. The Athletic spoke to more than two dozen players and Levran patients as well as coaches and former Levran associates. Five former athletes spoke to The Athletic about the abuse they experienced; three shared those allegations with police. The stories are all similar, one from a male stating that Levran digitally penetrated his rectum, seemingly to perform a prostate exam, but then Levran asked him if he wanted to know the location of the male g-spot. Levran would get the boys/men over to his house for yoga and “exams” and would sexually abuse them.
Levran moved from Israel to New York City as a teenager, and after graduating from medical school in 1989, Levran started a urology residency program at Beaumont Hospital in Detroit. In 2002, Levran’s son made the Farmington Unified hockey team, and Levran volunteered as that team’s physician. After his son graduated from North Farmington High, Levran began working with other high school programs, including Orchard Lake St. Mary’sand Livonia. He treated injured players and frequently pushed his signature treatment — massages with Tiger Balm, a topical analgesic. But according to players on that team and others at various schools, he did far more than suture a cut or assist with injuries. He provided players an ear if they were upset about playing time or the trajectory of their hockey career. Multiple players said they talked to him about girlfriends and, in some cases, sexual exploits. That fraternization was common in the Levran home as well, according to Carl Jacob Galeana, a friend who played youth hockey with Levran’s son(Levran was one of the coaches of their team). Galeana said he was a frequent sleepover guest after the Friday night drop-in skates. At the Levran home, they’d gather in the basement to watch movies and talk about girls. Levran would sometimes join in, never chastising them for swearing or for their raunchy humor. More than once, Levran turned on pornography and talked to the boys about masturbation.
Finding the right medical provider can be challenging. A person looks for seasoned professionals with good bedside manners, compassion, and empathy. When we finally decide on one, we hope to feel better over time, not be violated by the very person we trust. Doctors hold a position of power in the physician-patient relationship. It is both unacceptable and unlawful for a healthcare professional to touch a patient in any sexual manner or practice any sexual misconduct while treating the patient.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against medical professionals on behalf of patients who were inappropriately touched in their care. Under no circumstances is a doctor or nurse permitted to have sexual contact with a patient. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a medical office or facility, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.