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Duke professor acquitted of all assault charges, attorney indicates ‘personal costs’

Ranjan Sudan, professor and vice chair of education in the department of surgery at the School of Medicine and Duke Health general surgeon, was found not guilty on all assault charges filed against him Dec. 12, according to his attorney.

Three charges of sexual battery and one charge of assault against a female were served upon Sudan in October, and the incidents were reported to law enforcement by a former caretaker of Sudan's mother in September. Meredith Nicholson, Sudan’s attorney from Durham law firm NicholsonPham, wrote in an email that “the judicial outcome clears Dr. Sudan of any wrongdoing."

“The court’s acquittal does not compensate for the personal costs that he and his family suffered due to these false allegations, ranging from the harmful rumors in his professional and personal community, to the withholding of an award that lauds Dr. Sudan for his excellence in teaching,” Nicholson wrote.

Sudan has been affiliated with the University since Oct. 1, 2008, Duke officials wrote in a statement provided by Sarah Avery, director of the Duke Health news office, to The Chronicle in October. 

He currently works as a general surgeon and weight loss surgeon with board certifications for the American Board of Surgery and American Board of Psychiatry/Neurology, according to his Duke Health profile

Sudan was selected as a consultant to the education division of the American College of Surgeons in August 2018, according to a news release. Nicholson wrote in her email that the American College of Surgeons recently recognized Sudan for excellence in surgical education.

“Dr. Sudan is a quiet and private man, but all of his actions were subjected to public scrutiny,” Nicholson wrote. “As a result, he was forced to explain, reassure and defend against these charges publicly.”

Stefanie Pousoulides | Investigations Editor

Stefanie Pousoulides is The Chronicle's Investigations Editor. A senior from Akron, Ohio, Stefanie is double majoring in political science and international comparative studies and serves as a Senior Editor of The Muse Magazine, Duke's feminist magazine. She is also a former co-Editor-in-Chief of The Muse Magazine and a former reporting intern at PolitiFact in Washington, D.C.


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