Pasco County Sheriff's deputies arrested and charged a man with attempted rape in connection with an incident that took place at the BayCare Behavioral Health Center on Saturday, October 6. According to the allegations, 30-year-old Jeremey Peterson entered a patient's room and began kissing the woman without her consent. The woman told deputies that he also tried to undress her and that she screamed at him to stop and leave her room.
A nurse told deputies that she entered the room and saw Peterson leaving and the woman pulling up her pants and pulling her shirt back down. Staff from the facility also told deputies that the victim had red marks on her neck.
According to deputies, Peterson admitted to being in the woman's room and kissing her, but claimed that the encounter was consensual.
Peterson was arrested and charged with attempted sexual battery-rape and brought to Land O'Lakes Jail.
Michael Haggard represents survivors of sexual assault in civil court, helping them get the answers, justice, and support they deserve. We have asked him to add some insight into the legal options available to those who have been sexually assaulted in medical facilities:
It's important for medical facilities to be consistently safe and secure so that the patients can get the help they need without their safety in jeopardy. People from all walks of life require medical treatment, so this standard of security means that it's important to make sure criminals are not able to abuse or assault patients, staff, and anyone else on the premises of the facility.
In some cases, medical facilities may be partially at fault for a sexual assault if their negligence enabled the assault to occur. For example, one of these facilities could be considered negligent for failing to supervise a patient who had just been arrested and would be transferred to prison upon their release.
Establishing third-party negligence for a sexual assault is complicated. If you or someone you love was recently sexually assaulted in a hospital, doctor's office, clinic, or any other medical facility, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking to one our experienced sexual assault survivors lawyers.