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A 44-year-old nursing assistant at Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills faces sexual battery charges in court on Friday and police were seeking information to determine if there are other victims.
Jeremias Diego, who’s in an Los Angeles County Jail, is expected to answer to two counts of sexual battery at his arraignment on Friday.
Police said the assault occurred in the woman’s hospital bed while her sister slept nearby in the darkened room.
“After conducting several interviews, we now believe Diego may have done this to other patients as well,” said Detective Michael Brox, of the LAPD.
Diego allegedly entered a 43-year-old woman’s room at 4 a.m. on Monday to take her vital signs, a typical practice at the hospital.
The nursing assistant removed some of the woman’s garments and touched her inappropriately under the bed covers, police said.
The incident ended when the woman tossed a tissue box at her sleeping sister to awaken her. She and her sister reported the behavior to nurses, who called police.
Diego, of Thousand Oaks, has worked as a floating nursing assistant at Holy Cross since April. He previously worked at the Los Robles Care Center in Ojai.
Providence Holy Cross Hospital officials said they are cooperating with detectives and provided information of another complaint against Diego made by a female patient a week earlier.
Police contacted the Los Robles Care Center to make administrators aware in the event the investigation expands to that facility. Diego worked there part time until late August when he quit. The director was not aware of any similar reports of abuse.
Anyone with information is asked to call Brox at the Mission Sex Crimes Unit, at (818) 838-9902. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.