A technician at Hialeah Hospital was arrested in May for allegedly sexually abusing a patient. 49-year-old Alberto E. Vergani-Cortez has been charged with sexual battery by coercion or threat of a patient.
The arrest report says that Vergani-Cortez allegedly entered the patient's room, partially closed the door, and started talking with the patient. The conversation eventually became sexual, and Vergani-Cortez suggested that the patient masturbate. The patient reportedly told Vergani-Cortez to leave the room, but the technician allegedly grabbed the patient's genitals without consent.
The patient had a mental illness and was hospitalized under the Baker Act. Vergani-Cortez reportedly threatened to keep the patient in the hospital for longer if he didn't submit to the abuse. He then allegedly performed oral sex on the patient.
This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information regarding the case has been asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard represents sexual assault victims in civil lawsuits. We've asked Michael to add some information regarding the legal rights of hospital sexual assault victims:
Hospitals should be safe environments for patients, and no patient should ever become a victim of sexual assault by a hospital employee. But sadly, there have been many cases of hospital employees sexually assaulting patients. When this happens, these victims should be aware of their legal rights.
Reporting a sexual assault by a hospital employee to the police can result in criminal charges. Additionally, there are some cases where hospital sexual assault victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the hospital. These lawsuits are an option in cases involving negligence - such as ignoring past reports of sexual misconduct involving the employee.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a hospital employee, you can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation with our experienced sexual assault victim lawyers.