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Learning Disabilities Expert, Accused of Abuse, Dies

Dr. Mel Levine, a best-selling author and authority on treatment of learning disabilities in children who retired as a professor in the School of Medicine in 2006, was found dead on Feb. 17. According to The News & Observer of Raleigh, his wife, Barbara Levine, found a suicide note. The paper reported that Barbara Levine had last seen her husband on Feb. 12. He was 71.

Death occurred the same day that 30 of Levine’s patients had filed a class action lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing young boys in the course of medical examinations more than 20 years ago, according to The N&O. The Levines’ residence is in Rougemont in Durham County.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs told the paper he plans to sue Boston Children’s Hospital, where Levine worked before coming to UNC in 1985, on behalf of some patients whom Levine saw while at UNC.

Levine was charged in 2008 in a civil lawsuit with sexual abuse of seven patients ages 5 to 13 years at Children’s Hospital between 1967 and 1984. The hospital was named as a defendant in the suit. Levine maintained his innocence at the time and asked the N.C. Medical Board to render his medical license inactive.

Levine is the author of A Mind at a Time and other books on learning disabilities. After studying learning disabilities for about 25 years, he founded the All Kinds of Minds Institute to disseminate his ideas to school systems across the country and to others in the medical community. His work was profiled in the November/December 2000 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review.

At Carolina, Levine was director of Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning before his retirement.


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