A certified nursing aide at Mesa Vista of Boulder has been accused of inappropriately touching a female patient at the assisted living facility in September. 54-year-old Joseph Eddington Collins was arrested on Thursday, October 10 on suspicion of sexual assault - fake medical exam.
According to police records, a sexual assault at Mesa Vista was reported on September 6. The arrest affidavit says that a patient paged for a nurse for help changing and Collins responded. The woman told police that the cleaning lasted "longer than it should" and that Collins continued rubbing her private area after she told him to stop and that she was clean.
According to the woman, Collins made several "off-color" remarks during this incident and offered to rub lotion on her.
A Boulder police detective wrote in the affidavit that Collins "knowingly subjected victim to unlawful sexual contact when he engaged in a manner substantially inconsistent with reasonable medical practices."
During their investigation, Boulder police discovered that Collins had been named in a 2017 federal lawsuit for allegedly sexually assaulting two patients while working for Cherry Creek Nursing Center in Aurora. This lawsuit regarded the facility's alleged retaliation against an employee for reporting a sexual assault by her supervisor. However, the suit also claims that Collins sexually assaulted two female patients and that neither assault was reported to the police.
Attorney contributor Dan Lipman represents sexual assault victims as a civil attorney in lawsuits. Dan has offered to add some general information regarding the legal rights of nursing home abuse victims and their families:
Nursing homes have a moral and legal obligation to ensure their residents are safe and provided with the proper care and attention they need and deserve. In this field, it's extremely important to verify that all employees are trustworthy people, as there is a high risk of abuse if dangerous individuals are hired to work in nursing homes. Sadly, our attorneys have seen many cases of nursing home employees sexually abusing residents.
Nursing home employees who commit these heinous crimes must be held accountable by the criminal justice system. Additionally, in these cases, nursing homes should be investigated to determine if any form of organizational negligence enabled the assault to occur - such as hiring an employee with a history of sexual misconduct.
When negligence is determined to have played a role in the case of nursing home sexual abuse, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the facility.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted at a nursing home, you can learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation with one of our experienced sexual assault victims lawyers.