Doctor accused of raping sedated patients found dead in ditch, police say

Police said Dr. Eric Andrew Salata, 54, was arrested Nov. 21 at the Pura Vida Medical Spa.
Police said Dr. Eric Andrew Salata, 54, was arrested Nov. 21 at the Pura Vida Medical Spa.(Naples Police Department)
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 1:19 PM CST

NAPLES, Fla. (Gray News) – A doctor in Florida was found dead one week after he was arrested for allegedly raping at least two patients at his practice, according to officials.

According to the Naples Police Department, Dr. Eric Andrew Salata, 54, was arrested Nov. 21 at the Pura Vida Medical Spa after officers received reports from women who said Salata had sexually assaulted them.

Salata is a board-certified physician who specialized in cosmetic medical treatments.

Police said they received the complaints from the women within the previous four weeks.

One of the victims told police she was administered nitrous oxide as a sedative during her procedure. As the sedation was wearing off, the woman said she awoke to Salata raping her.

In shock about what had taken place, the woman contacted police and submitted a rape kit that was sent to a laboratory as part of the investigation.

A second victim came forward to police and provided information about a similar experience she had with Salata. She also submitted a rape kit that was sent to the laboratory for comparison to the first victim.

Naples police located Salata at the medical spa Nov. 21 and arrested him for two counts of sexual battery to a physically helpless person. Detectives also served a search warrant on the practice for additional evidence.

According to local news outlets WFLA and WINK, Salata was released on bond and was ordered to wear an ankle monitor. A week later, on Nov. 28, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the ankle monitor company, saying that the monitor had not moved for eight hours.

According to incident reports, deputies conducted a welfare check at the location of the ankle monitor. They found Salata dead in a ditch from a gunshot wound to the head. A gun was found next to his body, deputies said.

The responding deputy said an unidentified person told him that Salata left two notes, his wedding ring and his credit cards at his home. The contents of the notes were redacted in the incident report obtained by WFLA.

The sheriff’s office said Salata’s death was not suspicious, but his cause and manner of death will be officially determined by a medical examiner.

The Naples Police Department is searching for any additional victims and ask them to call 239-213-3000 with any information.