San Diego, CA — Two male nurses are under investigation for engaging in illicit sex acts with a 98-year-old stroke patient in her home, where they worked. Security camera footage shows the two men fondling the patient and each other.
The footage was taken between March 3 and March 11, 2011. The patient’s mother allegedly had concerns that her mother wasn’t being properly cared for, but “complaints went nowhere until family members saw the security camera footage.”
Security camera footage shows the two male registered nurses, Russel Torralba and Alfredo Ruiz, apparently masturbating and groping each other near the patient’s bed. In one video, one of the men appears to expose himself, placing his genitals in the woman’s hand, and kissing her. The victim suffered a stroke, and cannot move or talk.
She is fully conscious and aware of her surroundings.
William Berman, attorney for the woman’s family, said he was “shocked” by the videos. “I myself couldn’t believe it,” he told XETV-TV. Berman noted that this is the most shocking case of elder abuse he’s seen in 15 years of practice.
Torralba and Ruiz have had their nursing licenses suspended pending a court hearing next week. The San Diego District Attorney’s office is considering pressing criminal charges. The California Department of Consumer Affairs has been conducting an investigation into the nurses’ employer, AMS Home Care Solutions.
After the victim suffered a stroke, she hired the two nurses through AMS to provide in-home care, at a rate of $1,300 per day.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs has been investigation AMS since last year. Spokesperson Russ Heimerich asserted, “I don’t know if we’ve ever had a case that has a video like this. We are working to shut them down.”
The current suspension on Torralba and Ruiz prevents them from working for home health, but the men are still allowed to work in hospital settings. A hearing on permanent suspension will be held on November 14.
The victim’s family is suing the two men and AMS for fraud, elder abuse and negligent supervision. That trial is scheduled for January 14.
“It’s not about the money,” Berman reports, “it’s about dignity and accountability, to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Do you think these men should face criminal charges for their actions?