CT doctor arrested in recent child exploitation sting has died

A Hartford HealthCare rheumatology chief recently arrested as a result of a child exploitation investigation in Meriden has died by suicide, the chief medical examiner confirmed.

John Magaldi, 61, was one of three men facing criminal charges following a joint operation between the Meriden Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that targeted people who were allegedly seeking sexual activity with children, the Meriden Police Department said.

Magaldi was arrested along with a 28-year-old man and a 50-year-old man and charged with attempting to make sexual contact with victims younger than 16 years old.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed Magaldi’s death and said the autopsy was performed Thursday. According to the medical examiner, Magaldi died by suicide by gunshot wound. His body was found in Litchfield.

On Thursday, Connecticut State Police could only confirm that troopers assigned to Troop L in Litchfield, along with EMS, responded to a report of an unresponsive individual at a location on White Wood Road in Litchfield around 9:17 a.m. on Wednesday. An adult male was located, state police said, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Based upon their initial investigation, state police do not believe there was any criminal aspect to the death. They have not commented on the identity of the man at this time.

Magaldi, who was the chief of rheumatology at the Hartford HealthCare Bone and Joint Institute, was charged with criminal attempt at risk of injury, sexual contact with a victim under the age of 16, criminal attempted second-degree sexual assault and criminal attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor and interfering with police.

He was free on a $350,000 bond, according to court records.

“The news of the arrest and death of Dr. John Magaldi is deeply troubling,” Hartford HeathCare said in a statement sent to the Courant on Thursday. “We are ensuring all patients will continue to be cared for, and we are providing support for our colleagues.”

According to his profile on the Hartford HealthCare website, Magaldi worked at the Bone and Joint Institutes at Hartford Hospital and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington

Magaldi had been placed on administrative leave following his arrest, according to a spokesperson for Hartford HealthCare.

“We are troubled to learn of the arrest and we take these allegations seriously,” Hartford HealthCare told the Hartford Courant in a statement issued Monday. “With safety as a core value, we have placed Dr. John Magaldi on administrative leave, and we are working to gather information from law enforcement authorities so that we can address this situation appropriately.

According to his HHC profile, Magaldi attended medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed his residency, fellowship and internship at Yale University. He was a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Rheumatology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, the Connecticut State Medical Society, according to HHC.

Meriden police also charged William Suarez, 28, with criminal attempt at risk of injury, sexual contact with a victim under the age of 16, criminal attempted second-degree sexual assault and criminal attempt commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

Francisco Carrero, 50, was also charged with criminal attempted at risk of injury, sexual contact with a victim under the age of 16, criminal attempted second-degree sexual assault, criminal attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor and possession of narcotics.

Suarez and Carrero’s bonds were set at $250,000, police said.

Magaldi was scheduled to appear in court on March 22, records show.

The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day by calling 988. People in Connecticut also can call 211.

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