A preliminary hearing is scheduled Thursday for a Murrieta man accused of sexually battering two women patients at a Murrieta hospital where he worked as a nurse.
Paul Robert Simon, 53, is charged with five felonies—three counts of sexual battery on a medically incapacitated person and two counts of lewd acts by a caretaker on a dependent adult—and faces up to six years in prison if convicted, according to John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
The hearing, scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, will determine if there is enough evidence for Simon to stand trial.
The acts allegedly occurred when he worked at Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, Hall said. He said an investigation was initiated by a special agent with the state Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse in late 2010, after someone reported possible inappropriate or criminal activity by a nurse at Rancho Springs.
One of the alleged victims was a 58-year-old woman who was admitted to Rancho Springs in April 2009 and was briefly on life support. When she woke up, she had difficulty moving her body but was mentally alert, according to investigators, who allege that Simon, her assigned nurse, went to her bedside and used her hand to masturbate him. Another time, Simon allegedly touched the same woman inappropriately while he was bathing her.
In August 2010, another woman in the hospital was unconscious when Simon was seen by another nurse allegedly inappropriately touching the 57-year-old woman’s upper thigh area under her hospital gown, Hall said.
The hospital later fired Simon, he said.
The state Department of Justice sent the case to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, which filed the charges in January, Hall said.
-City News Service