A former dental assistant for Maryland Oral Surgery Associates in Silver Spring has been ordered to serve seven years in prison after being found guilty of inappropriately touching a patient. His full sentence was 25 years, with the remaining 18 suspended.
20-year-old Mervin Alexander Rivas-Chang was found guilty in May of sex abuse of a minor, second-degree sex offense, and third-degree sex offense.
Court documents say that Rivas-Chang sexually abused a teenage girl who was having her wisdom teeth removed at Maryland Oral Surgery Associates on September 1, 2017. The girl stated that she went to sleep during the procedure and woke up to Rivas-Chang placing a blanket over her and sexually abusing her.
The girl would later see that Rivas-Chang was wearing blue surgical scrubs. Other staff members eventually confirmed that Rivas-Chang was an assistant in the girl’s room during the procedure.
In addition to the prison sentence, Rivas-Chang must also register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Attorney contributor Aaron Blank has represented several victims of sexual assault in dentist offices and medical facilities. We’ve asked Aaron to add some of his thoughts on the legal rights of these victims:
Working in the medical field is a major responsibility, as medical professionals are trusted to provide their patients with proper medical care, treat them with respect, and to protect their privacy. Medical facilities must make sure that their employees are trustworthy people. Sadly, there is a high risk of abuse if the wrong people are hired at a medical facility.
If a patient is sexually abused by an employee at a medical facility, there are a few concerns that should be addressed. The incident should be reported to the police, the victim should be provided with assistance, and the facility should also be investigated to determine if third-party negligence played a role in the abuse. For example, the facility might be considered negligent for failing to run a background check before hiring the accused employee.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused in a medical facility, our experienced sexual assault victims lawyers are prepared to help you find justice. You can learn more in a free consultation.