Nurse arrested for sexual assaults at Kaiser

DOWNEY - A male registered nurse has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting hospital patients who were recovering from surgeries at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Downey. Dean Trinh Ngo, 35, was taken into custody last Thursday and charged with four felony counts of sexual battery. The Downey Police Department launched an investigation May 8 when a woman reported she was the victim of a sexual assault at the 352-bed hospital that opened in 2009. The woman said she was recovering from a surgical procedure when the assault took place. Downey detectives, working with Kaiser Permanente staff, identified Ngo as a suspect and he was positively identified by the victim, said Lt. Dean Milligan of the Downey Police Department. Ngo was suspended and placed on administrative leave. The investigation revealed that Ngo may have assaulted another woman on June 2, while she also recovered from surgery at Kaiser. "The victims were possibly under the affects of some sort of anesthesia," said Milligan. "But we're still working to confirm that." In a statement, Kaiser Permanente officials said they were cooperating with law enforcement. "We have compassion and sympathy for any patient who believes he or she was treated inappropriately, and we act quickly to ensure all appropriate internal and external investigations take place around any allegations of improper treatment," said Elizabeth Trombley, director of public affairs for the Downey hospital. "We will take all appropriate action to ensure continued high quality care and the safety of our patients." Because the victims may have been assaulted while under sedation, police think there may be more victims. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Detective Jaime Pelayo at (562) 904-2335 or Sgt. Dwayne Cooper at (562) 904-2340. The Kaiser hospital opened three years ago and replaced its former hospital in Bellflower. Six stories tall, the hospital is said to have one of the most advanced neonatal intensive care units in the nation, along with 18 private birthing and recovery suites.

********** Published: August 30, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 20