Saturday, January 29, 2011

NJ doctor accused of beating daughter wil Prader-Willi syndrome receives probation

From The Daily Record in N.J.:

A medical doctor who lives in Morris Township was admitted Jan. 19 into a special probation program for first time offenders to resolve a charge of beating her mentally disabled daughter with a ruler.

Dr. Adina N. Alexescu, a 55-year-old internist who practices in Roselle Park, was accepted by Superior Court Judge Philip Maenza into Morris County's Pre-Trial Intervention program.

The doctor did not admit any wrongdoing, and an aggravated assault charge will be dismissed and she will not have a criminal record if she completes one year on probation and 12 hours of community service. She must pay $125 in fines and continue counseling.

The victim, who authorities said has the intellectual capacity of a third or fourth-grader, was 18 in March 2010 and attending a special school in Chatham when welts were noticed on her back, sides and thighs.

Defense lawyer Vincent Nuzzi said the physician, who has undergone therapy for anger management, became overwhelmed one day with her daughter's behavior and lashed out. The victim also has Prader-Willi syndrome, which is a medical condition characterized, in part, by an insatiable appetite and skin-mutilation or picking.

''One day she just reached her frustration level,'' Nuzzi said of the mother.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Mattheu Nunn said the office had no objections to Alexescu entering PTI. He acknowledged that Prader-Willi syndrome is a serious illness.

After the aggravated assault charge was filed, the young woman was removed from her mother's care and now lives at a school in Pennsylvania for individuals with Prader-Willi. Since admission into PTI does not represent a conviction, Alexescu's medical license is not expected to be impacted, Nuzzi said.