A 54-year-old doctor, accused of sexually abusing patients after sedating them with laughing gas and alcohol, was found dead in a ditch with a gun next to his right hand, authorities confirmed. According to Fox News, the doctor, identified as Eric Andrew Salata, was found dead in a ditch after a deputy spotted a boot sticking up out of a wooded area with a single gunshot wound just days after posting a bond. Deputies who found Salata’s dead body responded to a welfare check on Salata.
Two of his female patients, ages 51 and 73, were the ones who initially reported the Florida doctor to the authorities. The investigation showed that Salata was sexually abusing the female patients in the middle of the cosmetic procedures after allegedly sedating them, according to a police report obtained by the Naples Daily News.
Salata was arrested late in November and charged with two counts of sexual battery on a physically helpless person. Before Salata was arrested, the victims told investigators that the doctor had given them nitrous oxide to help with sedation and pain from their procedures. When the public heard about what happened, a third person reportedly came forward against the doctor on the record and said that she had the same thing happen to her while getting a procedure done at his office.
The 51-year-old woman, whose identity was not revealed to the public, told authorities that she was given laughing gas to help her with the pain on top of a prescription she took when she arrived. During the procedure, the woman said she allegedly felt Salata touching her private parts, and he stopped immediately after the woman asked him what he was doing. He then gave the victim more laughing gas and alcohol, probably tequila, until the woman was completely lost and passed out.
The victim reportedly woke up several times during the procedure. Once, she caught Salata performing oral s*x, but she was unable to do anything because she passed out seconds later. When she woke up for a second time, she reportedly saw Salata penetrating her before she again became unconscious. Shortly after the incident, the victim reported the case to the local authorities.
The second victim came forward with her story the day Salata was arrested by the deputies. According to the 73-year-old victim, Salata sedated her with laughing gas before he started massaging “an area on her body”. During this time, Salata was allegedly pumping more gas to relieve any pain until the victim was unable to react. He then allegedly raped her, as the victim told the deputies. The victim said she was awake at all times, and she remembers the suspect getting on top of her at one point.
Salata owned Pura Vida Medical Spa with his wife in Naples, Florida, and he was the only person inside when these incidents took place. He was taken into custody and released on a $200,000 bond. He was scheduled to appear in court late December.