Male nursing assistant accused of sexual assault of elderly woman

September 14, 2011 3:52:25 PM PDT
Disturbing allegations against a male hospital worker accused of raping an elderly patient in her hospital bed. Authorities say the woman's smart thinking immediately after the alleged attack is what led to criminal charges.

The 71-year-old woman says that attack happened after she was admitted into the emergency room at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center back on May 3. Now investigators are trying to get that nursing assistant off the streets.

"The facts are quite disturbing," said Asst. District Attorney Donna Hawkins.

Investigators say the Certified Nursing Assistant who attacked the patient is 39-year-old Manuel Alvarado. The woman claims Alvarado forced himself on her as he was cleaning parts of her body.

"The defendant, while positioning himself as a nurse, and while acting in his capacity as a nurse, actually sexually assaulted her while he was taking care of her," said Hawkins.

According to court documents, Alvarado came into the woman's hospital room about 10:40pm and told her that he was there to change her adult diaper, clean her up and give her a massage.

Court documents state the woman said Alvarado removed her diaper and told her to lie on her right side. That's when she says Alvarado sexually assaulted her. She said Alvarado then lowered the lighting in the room and told her to move closer to the edge of the bed where he sexually assaulted her again. The woman told investigators that she felt weak and told Alvarado to stop, but that he would not stop.

Investigators say Alvarado tried getting rid of DNA evidence by cleaning up the diaper, the pad she had been lying on, a towel and other material that she had been wearing and taking it with him before leaving the patient's room. But they say the traumatized woman was smarter.

"The complainant actually had the presence of mind to save some of that material, and actually hide it, so that it could later be used for DNA testing," Hawkins said.

Court documents show the Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed that it was male DNA that the woman had gathered as evidence after the sexual assault.

Investigators say they confirmed with hospital administration staff that Alvarado was the person assigned to the room the woman was in that night, and that the woman identified Alvarado as the person who sexually assaulted her.

Now an arrest warrant has been issued against Alvarado for aggravated sexual assault of an elderly or disabled person.

We tried contacting Alvarado, but were unsuccessful.

In a statement released to Eyewitness News, a Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center spokesperson said, in part, "We take allegations like this very seriously, and we immediately reported the alleged incident to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. The alleged incident is currently under investigation, and we have cooperated fully with the local authorities. We take the safety and security of everyone on our campus very seriously."

Bond has been set at $30,000 in this case.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about Manuel Alvarado to give the Harris Co. Sheriff's Office a call.

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