Girardi | Keese

Orange County Nurse Sexually Assaults Patient in ER

The California Department of Public Health recently cited Orange County's Chapman Medical Center for violating health and safety procedures that led to a patient's sexual assault. A CDPH investigation revealed that a registered nurse from the hospital gave a patient a narcotic analgesic and then sexually assaulted her.

The patient came to the emergency department in April of 2010, complaining of arm pain. The nurse administered a narcotic pain killer and then proceeded to kiss the patient and fondle her breasts.

The patient was adamant that she did not consent to the encounter and told police officers that the RN also forced her to touch his erect penis.

"No, I wasn't aware of where I was," the patient said when officials inquired about the nature of the encounter. "I was out of it. I was confused. The medication impeded my ability to consent."

She added that her arms were completely immobilized by the pain medicine and therefore there was no possibility that she could have consented to, or resisted the assault.

The CDPH confirmed that the RN was let go and directed the hospital's HR department to provide sexual harassment training.

Source: California Department of Public Health, "CDPH Issues Penalties to 13 Hospitals," June 1, 2012

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