STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – She thought she was learning about dentistry.
Instead, a Great Kills dentist violated a teen’s trust by exposing himself to her and making lewd comments when she interned for him more than a decade ago, a lawsuit alleges.
Dr. Alan Kratenstein would “lure” young female interns into the office bathroom and display his penis when they walked in, contends the civil complaint, recently filed in state Supreme Court, St. George.
The dentist, now 63, “sexually and emotionally abus(ed)” the plaintiff during the course of her internship both to degrade her and “to gratify (his) sick sexual desires,” the complaint alleges.
The plaintiff, whose full name is not listed in court papers, interned for Kratenstein between September 2008 and May 2009, said the complaint.
She was 17 then.
“This is a repeat offender who has done it before and will do it again unless he’s stopped,” said John Bonina, the plaintiff’s Brooklyn-based lawyer. “He made it obvious that he was masturbating in the office while (the plaintiff) was working there.”
Kratenstein’s lawyer did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed under the Child Victims Act, enacted last Aug. 14, which created a one-year window for plaintiffs of any age to sue alleged abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred.
The law also allows victims of sexual abuse to sue their alleged abuser any time before they turn 55.
The teen alleges she suffered emotional and psychological distress.
She seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The girl interned for Kratenstein at his Hylan Boulevard office through a dental program sponsored by Tottenville High School, said the complaint.
Kratenstein participated in the program.
Neither Tottenville High School nor the city Department of Education is a named defendant in the suit.
The complaint alleges the dentist “had a habit of exposing himself to the young female interns in his dental office,” before, during and after the teen’s internship.
Other disconcerting acts entailed him masturbating in the bathroom and groaning loudly, alleges the complaint.
Afterward, the dentist often emerged with a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and would slap it down on the front desk and taunt the teen, the complaint alleges.
“(The plaintiff) was reading on the job. Look what I found in the back!” he’d exclaim, according to the complaint.
Making matters worse, the dentist, after pleasuring himself, often returned to work on patients “without wearing gloves and without having even washed his hands,” alleges the complaint.
The girl alleges Kratenstein often made lewd and inappropriate comments to her, including about her relationship with her boyfriend.
The teen grew so uncomfortable she left Kratenstein and completed her internship in another dental office, said the complaint.
On her last day in the office, Kratenstein told her to empty the bathroom garbage can and then return it, the complaint said.
As she did so, she was “shocked” to find the dentist “standing in the bathroom with his pants unzipped, exposing his erect penis to her,” alleges the complaint.
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