Jury selection for one of the creepier medical malpractice suits in recent history begins this week. Mikhail Sorodsky, 63, made headlines in 2009 when the alleged phony Brooklyn doctor was accused of sexually abusing his dying cancer patients and was smacked with an $11 million cash bail or $33 million bond—more than Bernie Madoff got and quite possibly the highest in State history. Now Sorodsky is getting ready to face a jury of his peers, with his 13th lawyer in tow (he apparently goes through attorneys quickly).
The charges against Sorodsky—he allegedly would "treat" his patient's cancer by "slathering his victims in a probiotic yogurt, inserting the concotion into their genitalia, claiming they would be healed"—come from eight victims but authorities fear he "treated" hundreds more, charging a mostly Russian immigrant population as much as a grand per visit. Sorodsky is also charged with raping at least one of his victims while she was sedated.
Sorodsky, for his part is denying the charges. In court, where he uses a Russian translator, he'll occasionally have outbursts in which he defends himself in English. According to the News at one point he blurted out "it is inquisition. I am somebody, pioneer. I am a scientist."
The "doctor" (he argues he never presented himself as more than a "holistic healer") is being tried alongside his wife, 62-year-old Beverly Sorodsky, who is defending herself against nine charges, mostly larceny. She is currently being held in lieu of $2.25 million cash or a $6.25 million bond.
Mikhail's bail wasn't always so high though. In 2008 his bail was lowered to half-a-million as long as he wore a tracking bracelet. But after additional victims were uncovered and Sorodsky tried to tamper with his bracelet, the bail got bumped up.