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Investigation of Oakland Co. doctor who worked with youth hockey clubs widens

Anna Liz Nichols
The Detroit News

Farmington Hills authorities have received 33 additional tips against Metro Detroit urologist Dr. Zvi Levran, who is facing several charges of criminal sexual conduct stemming from his longtime affiliation with youth hockey programs, Oakland County officials said during a news conference Wednesday.

The dozens of new tips come after Levran was accused in October of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old man during a medical examination at the physician's home office.

Farmington Hills police investigated and Levran, 66, of Farmington Hills was charged in late October with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct after a search of his home.

Police established a 24-hour tip line in connection with the case or similar incidents. In the weeks following the arrest, Farmington Hills police Chief Jeff King said the department has received 33 additional tips.

By Nov. 10, the department had sent four additional investigations for review to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, which authorized 10 charges of criminal sexual conduct in those cases. Levran surrendered himself to investigators the same day and was arraigned on the charges the next day.

The tips come from local communities including Farmington Hills, Novi, Livonia, West Bloomfield and Redford, King said. Tips have also come from outside the state, in California, Georgia, North Carolina, Minnesota, Arizona and Canada.

Each tip has been assigned to a Farmington Hills investigator, and local jurisdictions are being notified, King said. Federal agencies and state partners are being brought on as well. So far, five additional investigations have been referred to other jurisdictions, he said.

King said Levran, who is listed as the team doctor for the Farmington United hockey team, according to the Michigan High School Hockey Hub website, has been affiliated with several youth hockey programs for at least 20 years and has practiced medicine in at least four states: Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Georgia. He's also had offices in Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and Livonia, as well as in Minnesota, Georgia and Ohio. He's licensed in five states: Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa and Georgia.

"I want to commend those survivors that have come that have come forward and the strength it took them to do so. I also want any other survivors to know any complaint received by the Farmington Hills Police Department will be investigated with the utmost seriousness, discretion and professionalism," King said. "Your incident will be investigated with a survivor-focus approach to every aspect of that investigation."

King and Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said due to the nature of the tips, they believe there are likely more people who may want to reach out.

"This is not a normal investigation or criminal prosecution," McDonald said. "Since this (investigation) began we have been inundated with contacts and tips and some really alarming data that makes us concerned about a lot more potential survivors."

Levran's main contact with kids or adults was through hockey and medical treatment, McDonald said.

"We never blame survivors of sexual assault or these types of crimes. We blame the perpetrators for pretending that their actions are normal or a part of some medical treatment," McDonald said. "We blame perpetrators for making survivors feel like they do not have a choice or a voice."

Police will continue taking calls in the investigation until it is done, and that day may never come, King said.

Farmington Hills police ask anyone who has information about possible illegal activities by the doctor, or if anyone would like to come forward with a personal story of abuse, to call the department at (248) 871-2610.