SLO woman sues Santa Barbara hospital over sexual assault
September 26, 2013
A San Luis Obispo woman filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging a nursing assistant at a Santa Barbara rehabilitation hospital sexually assaulted her while she was recovering from a brain tumor. [Independent]
The lawsuit filed in Santa Barbara Superior Court states that Jose Carillo, 55, assaulted the woman, 49, while helping her shower at Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital in January 2011. The woman reported the sexual assault to hospital staff, but the workers did not report the allegation to police and instead cautioned her that she was having delusions and hallucinations because of her medical condition.
A 57-year-old Santa Maria woman also reported being sexually assaulted by Carillo in the shower while recovering from a stroke. She alleges Carillo assaulted her between February and April 2010, and the hospital claimed she was delusional as well.
Both women are suing Carillo, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital and the hospital’s parent company.
The San Luis Obispo woman notified police in June 2012. In October 2012 officers arrested Carillo on four felony charges, which included penetration with a foreign object and oral copulation.
But, the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office chose not to prosecute the case, citing the victims’ cognitive abilities at the time of the alleged abuse.
“There is no doubt these assaults occurred,” said Los Angeles attorney David Ring, who is representing both women. The conduct of the perpetrator is despicable. The conduct of the hospital is outrageous.”
Ring alleges the hospital deceived one of the victims by having one of its employees pose as an outside investigator, conduct a mock interview and instruct the woman to remain silent so as not interfere with the supposed police investigation.
In February, the hospital requested that the court dismiss the Santa Maria woman’s lawsuit, but a judge rejected the request. The judge noted in his ruling that the victim claimed a nurse at the hospital “witnessed Carillo engaging in inappropriate interaction with the plaintiff in the shower.”