Last week, a 32-year-old anesthesiologist, Giovanni Quintella Bezerra, was arrested on July 10 after allegedly orally raping a Black woman that was undergoing a c-section in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while under heavy sedation. Bezerra was recorded during the act by other hospital workers.
In the horrifying video, the Brazilian physician reportedly put his penis in the woman’s mouth after the woman’s husband was asked to leave during the surgery. Positioned behind an open cloak separating himself from the rest of the surgeons, he was placed in a way to prevent anyone from seeing the patient from the neck up – but hospital staff said that they set up a camera after being suspicious of Bezerra’s behavior and the number of sedatives he gave patients, according to Globa Rio de Janeiro.
Nurses became suspicious after women undergoing cesarean sections under the care of Bezerra were so anesthetized that they couldn’t hold their babies following giving birth. Typically, “C-sections are done under regional anesthesia, which numbs only the lower part of your body. This allows you to be [completely] awake during the procedure. Common choices include a spinal block and an epidural block,” according to Mayo Clinic.
When a staff member questioned the anesthesiologist about the excess sedation, according to the statement, he reportedly replied, “Why? Do you want it too?”
Brazilian authorities publicly praised the nurses for their initiative in investigating their suspicions. Bezerra performed three operations that day; the first two were in a private gallery that the staff wasn’t allowed into. However, since the video was released, two more women have come forward about the alleged rape, in addition to another two cases already being investigated by police concerning Bezerra.
Bezerra’s preliminary hearing took place the day after his arrest; He was sent to Benfica prison in Brazil on rape charges and is facing up to 15 years in prison.
The Health Foundation for the State of Rio de Janeiro told Globo, “We inform you that an internal investigation will be opened to take administrative measures.” in addition to the criminal investigation already underway.