BOSTON – Surgeon Dennis Begos, formerly of Winchester Hospital in Winchester, MA, has been accused of attempting to videotape hospital employees who were members of the surgical unit while they were undressing.
The story was broken by the Boston Globe on January 18 and was picked up by other other media outlets such as the local CBS TV station. The Globe’s initial article by reporter Liz Kowalczyk stated among other things that, “Last May, a nurse at Winchester Hospital noticed an odd-looking clothes hook inside a staff restroom in the surgical unit. She inspected it more closely and saw a tiny lens embedded in the plastic. It turned out to be a hidden camera…Now, nearly nine months later, a well-known surgeon has been charged with trying to secretly record staff undressing. Dr. Dennis Begos, who was the hospital’s chief of surgery from 2007 to 2017, was arraigned last month in Woburn District Court and is awaiting trial. Begos, 56, is a Yale School of Medicine graduate.”
The Globe article continued, “’He is a prominent and gifted surgeon who pled not guilty,’ said his attorney, Paul Cirel, who would not comment further on the case. Winchester police charged Begos with one count of attempting to commit secret sexual surveillance…The nurse who found the device on the restroom door on May 1 immediately gave it to a hospital security official. Among the deleted files from the camera, he discovered a photo of Begos and his wife on the beach, leading police to suspect him, according to a police report filed in court.”
Hospital Chief Executive Dr. Richard Weiner suspended Begos’s medical staff privileges three weeks later, and reported him to the Board of Registration in Medicine. “Begos, who was not employed by the hospital, signed a voluntary agreement not to practice medicine in July while the licensing board investigated,” The Globe, noted, also reporting that “Winchester police did not publicly release information on the Begos case. And while hospital executives notified staff about the hidden camera on the bathroom door, they did not offer information about Begos’s involvement or why he was no longer on staff,” according to the Globe.
Lahey Health spokesman Christopher Murphy told the newspaper, “This incident is incredibly disturbing and a severe breach of privacy…The safety and security of staff and patients at Winchester Hospital is of critical importance to leadership.’’
The Globe quoted Murphy, who said “the device did not contain any images from the restroom,” and the newspaper further reported that “On the evening the camera was discovered, Weiner confronted Begos before a dinner for medical professionals at the Seasons 52 restaurant in Burlington, according to the police report. Begos told him he did not know about the incident. The report said Weiner later told police he should not have spoken to Begos about the camera and that he was not trying to interfere with the investigation. Murphy said Begos’s privileges were not suspended for three weeks after the allegations surfaced because Weiner believed he needed more information to carry out such a serious action. On May 22, the hospital said, police shared additional information and Weiner suspended him. Later that day, Begos crashed his car on Interstate 93 and was hospitalized, according to the police report. In their investigation, police had found other photos of Begos on the camera…During his Dec. 18 arraignment, Begos was released on conditions that he not commit any crimes or contact any witnesses in the case. He also was required to continue mental health counseling.”