Doctor Ashoo Rao owned one third of Sundance medical facility (see documentation below) according to court records. Sundance was a behavioral health hospital that was closed by the State of Texas. She now works for Cooks Children’s as a pediatrics (children’s) physician. According to Cooks, she is employed and works at their location on River Oaks Blvd in Fort Worth, Texas.
The hospital was originally indicted on twenty-six criminal charges for alleged violations of the Texas mental health code. This included a charge of illegally kidnapping patients. This was later pleaded down to a single charge of kidnapping. “Charged with multiple Class B Misdemeanor counts, the corporation pled guilty to the most egregious count – that the hospital knowingly illegally held a female patient against her will for 21 days,” the DA’s office said. The hospital was prosecuted by the Tarrant Count District Attorneys Office. After being criminally charged, the organization filed for bankruptcy which is currently still running its way through the courts.
Sundance’s corporate company SAS Healthcare ran multiple organizations including the facilities in Arlington and Fort Worth. It’s unclear if the doctors have been held accountable at this point.
As you can see from the indictment below, they kidnapped multiple patients by holding them for longer than allowed by state law. Not only was the company individually charged but one of their psychiatrist was also criminally charged.
According to the district attorney, “people turned to what they thought was a trusted medical facility and were not allowed to leave as the law requires. These offenses were a corporate failure, and the corporation must be held accountable.”
It’s unclear why Tarrant County did not attempt to prosecute the doctors individually. America First project, has reached out to the district attorney’s office to figure out why they were not charged individually and what effect this has on their license to practice medicine.
In addition, America First projects did reach out to Cooks Children’s Hospital who failed to respond to comment over numerous requests across multiple weeks.