Last month, Dr. Zvi Levran was charged with seven counts of legal sexual conduct in Oakland County, Mich., after a 19-year-old male hockey participant informed police that on Oct. 18 he was sexually assaulted by Levran, a urologist, throughout a medical examination in Levran’s basement workplace of his Farmington Hills dwelling. Levran pleaded not responsible at his arraignment on Oct. 22.

Levran, 66, is well-known in suburban Detroit hockey circles the place he was known as the “Hockey Doc” or “Doc.” He labored as a volunteer with highschool hockey packages, together with these in Farmington and Novi, on and off for almost 20 years, and he additionally helped with the Michigan Developmental Hockey League, which runs previous to the highschool season. The MDHL places collectively a choose crew of elite performers — often called Team Michigan — for a USA Hockey-affiliated occasion in Minnesota, and Levran has traveled with the crew and served as an on-site doctor.

Levran carried out bodily examinations, handled accidents and supplied mushy tissue massages to gamers. The 19-year-old who was allegedly assaulted went to see Levran for medical remedy. News of Levran’s arrest jolted the insular Michigan hockey neighborhood. Asked in regards to the response from the general public, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald mentioned:  “I would classify it as widespread. … I want to be very careful. These are allegations, nothing more. There’s been no conviction here and he’s presumed innocent but, based on the evidence and the amount of people that have contacted law enforcement and our office and the amount of players and individuals (who) were in contact (with Levran), we’re very concerned.”

Michigan isn’t the one state the place Levran labored as a hockey crew physician. From 2011 to 2018, he lived in Fergus Falls, Minn., and for a time labored as a volunteer physician treating gamers at Fergus Falls High. But he stopped working with athletes there in December 2017, The Athletic has discovered, after a 16-year-old male hockey participant talked of being sexually assaulted by Levran throughout an examination.

The participant who made the allegation informed The Athletic that he went to see Levran for a shoulder harm and that, after analyzing the participant’s shoulder, Levran reached down his pants. “While I was there, he took an opportunity to grope my genitalia,” mentioned the participant, who will not be being recognized per The Athletic’s coverage to not identify sexual assault victims with out their consent. “It was super random; it was super strange. I had a shoulder injury — there was no reason (for him to do that).”

At least one official on the Fergus Falls School District and people at Lake Region Medical Group — Levran’s employer — grew to become conscious of the alleged sexual assault. Yet native regulation enforcement businesses and the county’s human providers division mentioned they don’t have any report of any complaints or studies filed about Levran past visitors incidents. And officers at Fergus Falls Schools and Lake Region Medical Group both declined to remark, citing privateness legal guidelines, or have been imprecise in response to questions on how they dealt with the alleged incident.

It doesn’t seem, primarily based on interviews with gamers and others across the Fergus Falls program, {that a} vast investigation into Levran’s interactions with gamers in Fergus Falls was performed. Had that occurred, former gamers informed The Athletic, it might need revealed different examples of alleged misconduct by Levran, together with one other occasion when a second male participant says he went to see Levran for a shoulder harm and had his genitalia touched.

“We’d joke about it on the team,” the second participant informed The Athletic. “Go in for a shoulder (injury) and have your balls checked.”

In each Fergus Falls and Michigan, Levran was seen as an eccentric who was desperate to be accepted among the many youngsters within the locker room. One yr in Minnesota, gamers mentioned Levran hosted a crew bonding occasion at his dwelling. According to 1 participant, that social gathering included an influence yoga session that their coach attended. The boys additionally swam in Levran’s pool and he ordered them pizza. That participant mentioned he doesn’t bear in mind something exterior the norm, in addition to some distinctive prospers in Levran’s home.

“There was leopard print everywhere, and a massage table,” the participant mentioned.

Levran typically suggested gamers on the trajectory of their hockey careers and extolled the virtues of yoga and meditation. Two gamers in Minnesota mentioned Levran urged that weekly yoga classes ought to be carried out of their underwear. He additionally tried to narrate to gamers by joking about women and intercourse, which some discovered humorous and others off-putting.

“There was a lot of conversations that, as high school boys, we thought was kind of funny,” one participant from Fergus Falls mentioned, including that Levran used to make sexual references and discuss in regards to the “male G-Spot.”

“We were in over our heads and didn’t realize it at the time,” the participant mentioned. “It just became normal.”

Levran was identified for his enthusiastic use of the topical analgesic cream Tiger Balm, rubbing it on gamers. Levran additionally supplied mushy tissue massages to gamers, although he doesn’t maintain a license as a therapeutic massage therapist nor as an athletic coach. Levran holds a license as a medical physician, in response to Minnesota and Michigan state licensing databases. According to his legal professional, he’s additionally an authorized yoga teacher.

In 2017, when he was in his junior yr, the primary Fergus Falls High participant who spoke to The Athletic mentioned he went to Levran for a shoulder harm. In the times following the alleged sexual assault, the participant was within the coaching room with a teammate and informed his teammate what had occurred. That dialog was overheard by Todd Grothe, a coach who, like Levran, was employed by Lake Region Medical Group. When reached by cellphone, Grothe mentioned that he reported the dialog to somebody however wouldn’t say who and referred all questions by The Athletic to Lake Region Medical Group and the Fergus Falls School District.

The day after Grothe overheard that dialog within the coach’s room, the participant who Levran allegedly assaulted mentioned he was known as to his faculty’s administrative workplaces and questioned about his go to with the physician. The participant mentioned he shared with a college official what had occurred and that he felt the incident was “creepy.” The participant couldn’t make sure who questioned him, saying it was considered one of two faculty officers. The Athletic contacted each directors; one mentioned he had no reminiscence of assembly with the participant; the opposite mentioned he was “not at liberty” to debate the small print. The participant mentioned neither of his mother and father attended the assembly.

“I was unhappy about the school bringing my son — my 16-year-old son — down to talk about this without notifying me of the issue at all beforehand,” mentioned the participant’s father.

Under Minnesota statute, most faculty officers and healthcare employees are thought of obligatory reporters and obligated to inform regulation enforcement or native county social providers within the occasion of suspected sexual abuse involving a minor (studies are then cross-reported, that means whichever entity receives the report then notifies the opposite, in response to a county official).

Current superintendent Jeff Drake confirmed that Levran was a volunteer for the district “for a period of time ending on December 13, 2017” however declined to reply plenty of questions in regards to the faculty’s response to the allegation towards Levran. “I cannot comment on matters involving students due to state and federal data privacy laws,” he mentioned. Jerry Ness, the appearing superintendent throughout the 2017-18 faculty yr, referred all inquiries to Drake and hung up the cellphone.

Lake Region Medical Group, when initially requested in regards to the dealing with of the allegation towards Levran, mentioned in a press release that past affirmation of Levran’s employment dates, “Lake Region Medical Group and Lake Region Healthcare do not comment on personnel matters.”

Asked later about Grothe’s reporting of the dialog he overheard, Lake Region Medical Group despatched a follow-up assertion: “Todd Grothe reported concerns he observed while Dr. Levran was volunteering for the local high school hockey program to his direct supervisor. Lake Region Healthcare and Lake Region Medical Group take all such reports very seriously and the matter was escalated appropriately and immediately. We consulted with local authorities and undertook a thorough investigation, and after completed and reviewed, appropriate action was taken.”

The Fergus Falls Police Department has no data pertaining to Levran, save for a visitors warning in 2016. Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department has no data related to misconduct however Levran was issued a visitors warning in 2012 and a visitors quotation in 2014. Otter Tail County Human Services had no related data to provide.

When requested to make clear which “local authorities” have been consulted, Lake Region Medical Group spokesperson Katie Johnson mentioned the group didn’t “have anything further to provide at this time.”

Multiple hockey gamers mentioned that not lengthy after the varsity grew to become conscious of the allegation towards Levran, he stopped working with this system. The participant Levran allegedly assaulted mentioned he declined to pursue legal prices as a result of he discovered recounting the small print of what occurred “embarrassing.” He added that he initially felt responsible that his disclosure had prompted Levran’s exit however mentioned teammates later shared comparable experiences with the physician.

Another participant informed The Athletic that he additionally went to see Levran in 2017 to get his shoulder examined. During that go to, Levran requested him to take away his pants and felt his testicles. The participant mentioned Levran informed him he was simply doing a check-up whereas he was there. That participant by no means reported the incident to a faculty official however talked about it with different gamers on the crew.

“The more we grew up and the more I’ve talked about it in (my) college years, the more it’s like ‘Oh, no, that was really weird. He probably should have been gone a lot earlier,’” the participant mentioned.

Levran’s legal professional, Joseph Lavigne, when requested in regards to the new allegations towards his shopper, mentioned he had no information of any incidents involving gamers in Minnesota nor any information in regards to the finish of Levran’s employment with the Lake Region Medical Group. Levran, a local of Israel, is at the moment out on bond and needed to give up his passport.

After leaving Fergus Falls, Levran returned to Michigan and opened his personal observe. He had beforehand labored as a volunteer assistant with Farmington’s crew (he started when his son, a goaltender, made the crew in 2002), and he returned to working with native hockey gamers. He was identified for internet hosting drop-in skates for gamers on Friday nights, renting ice time together with his personal cash so gamers may refine their abilities.

“A lot of people know about Doc’s skates,” Levran mentioned within the 2007 information article in Hockey Weekly. He added that he volunteered with so many youth packages as a “service to the community.”

“Everything I do is for the kids so they can play hockey and have fun with it,” Levran mentioned.

In a press release supplied to The Athletic final week, Novi Schools superintendent Benjamin Mainka mentioned that Levran was by no means an worker with the district, solely a volunteer, and that his background verify was present and in compliance on the time of his arrest. The faculty district has initiated an investigation into Levran’s interactions with scholar athletes “to ensure that they have not been treated inappropriately in any way.”

Asked whether or not anybody from the Fergus Falls School District or Lake Region Medical Group notified Novi Schools of any complaints towards Levran, a Novi Schools spokesperson mentioned they didn’t.

(Illustration: Sean Reilly / The Athletic)

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