Weston doctor accused of beating girlfriend for 3rd time

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Deputies have arrested a Weston doctor for a third time in less than four years for allegedly beating his girlfriend.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Dr. Rafael Azulay, charging him with felony battery.

Deputies said Azulay beat his girlfriend in their Weston home on March 1. According to the arrest report, Azulay became enraged when a BSO deputy showed up at their home to do a welfare check on the victim following an anonymous tip to police.

After the deputy left, the report states, Azulay punched the victim in the head and face repeatedly. She tried to block the blows with her arm.

The report states Azulay then grabbed her by her throat before she bit him and fled the home. She was able to run to the community’s guard gate, where a relative picked her up.

The victim was taken to hospital with, according to investigators, a ruptured eardrum and multiple fractures to her face and nose.

Photographs show bruises to the victim’s back, face, arms and neck.

Azulay was arrested in August 2014 and again in April 2015. He was never convicted in either of the cases due to the victim refusing to work with prosecutors.

“There is a lot of fear and intimidation that goes along with the whole dynamic,” said Mary Riedel of Women in Distress of Broward County. “Really, domestic violence is about power and control, and somebody having control over another individual.”

Investigators said Azulay owns a gun and threatened to bring his girlfriend to her mother in a body bag if he ever went back to jail.

“But often an abuser or a perpetrator can afford legal help, and often the survivor can’t because they even don’t have control over their finances, or they’re very scared,” said Riedel.

Azulay is currently being held on $50,000 bond.

Women in Distress has set up a crisis hotline for those who have been in domestic violence situations. For more information, call 954-761-1133.

“I think the message to survivors is there is help,” said Riedel. “You will be believed. You will be protected – not only by domestic violence centers but by law enforcement and by the courts. And you have to trust that help is really, basically, a phone call away.”

Azulay used to be an internist in private practice with privileges at Memorial Regional Hospital.  However, the hospital said he is not an employed physician at Memorial and he has not been part of voluntary medical staff since May 2015.

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