A nurse at the St. Louis County VA Clinic has been accused of sexually assaulting two patients.
60-year-old William Luchtefeld was first charged in January with sodomy and sexual abuse in a case involving one of his patients. He was arrested a second time on February 26 on an additional charge of sexual abuse after a second woman came forward to accuse him of inappropriately touching her.
Court documents from the first arrest state that Luchtefeld admitted to inappropriately touching a patient without her consent during an acupuncture appointment at the VA St. Louis County Outpatient Clinic in Florissant in November 2019.
The second victim told police that Luchtefeld also inappropriately touched her in June of 2019. No further details regarding that charge were included in court documents.
Luchtefeld was released from jail after posting 10% of a $25,000 bond.
Attorney contributor Reed Martens is a sexual assault victims lawyer who has represented many victims who have been sexually assaulted by nurses and other medical professionals. Here are some thoughts from Reed on the legal rights of these victims:
We should all be able to trust that nurses and other medical professionals have our best interests in mind. No one ever expects a nurse to violate this trust by sexually assaulting a patient, but this happens more than many people may realize. When a patient is sexually assaulted by a nurse, it's important for that patient to be aware of their legal rights.
Reporting the sexual assault to the police is an important first step, but the legal options for victims don't always end here. It's also important to determine if the sexual assault was preventable. In some cases, medical facilities and other third parties were negligent in a way that allowed the assault to happen - such as failing to investigate previous complaints of inappropriate behavior by the nurse.
In cases involving negligence, those who have been sexually assaulted by nurses may have grounds for a lawsuit against the medical facility where they were assaulted.
If you or a loved one is a victim of nurse sexual assault, you can learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation with one of our experienced sexual assault victims lawyers.