A nurse in Cape Coral, Florida, is under investigation after a patient told police officials that he raped and threatened her, according to NBC-2 News.
In July of last year, 35-year-old Jeovanni Hechavarria was fired from Lee Health, but he may still work as a nurse in Florida under certain restrictions after being accused of raping a hospital patient on her bed.
It was reported that the nurse went inside of a 43-year-old patient’s room, caressed her back, and commenced to tell her how beautiful she was.
Afterward, Hechavarria allegedly forced himself on top of the patient – whose name has not been released – and raped her. The victim told Lee County police officials that he told her not to tell anyone and if she did, he would rape her again because he knew where she lived.
Hospital administrators learned of the alleged sexual assault the same day and Hechavarria was fired the following day.
Fort Myers resident Lewis Morehouse stated that he “wouldn’t expect it from anybody working in a hospital, not somebody that cares for us.”
“I think it’s very disgusting actually, yeah, and it’s very scary to know that people who are taking care of us could possibly do something like that,” said a North Fort Myers resident who is only being identified as Kim.
Another resident, Diane Pozzie, stated that the rape allegations “would make me think twice about where I go and the people that come in my room. I see people for lesser crimes that are arrested immediately and brought to justice. Something like this should not have happened.”
It has been seven months since the hospital nurse was accused of raping a patient and he has not been arrested or charged. Cape Coral police officials say the incident is still under investigation.
The claim has raised concerns in the Cape Coral community as many are pondering why the nurse is still working despite the disconcerting allegations.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement stated that although they have “three evidence submissions for this case,” there is “one piece of evidence that is still being processed,” which is causing the delay.
“It’s appalling if it comes out to be true, but also extremely appalling if it turns out to be false as well,” Morehouse said.
“It makes me a little uneasy, you know, to think that something like this could happen and it’s this long until we’re actually hearing about it.”
“I think things probably should have been sped up a little bit,” Kim added.
The Florida Department of Heath placed an emergency restriction on the nurse’s license; he will not be able to treat female patients without the presence of another licensed health-care provider.
According to a document, which was dated January 13, “there will be a proceeding to determine formal discipline.”
Following the alleged sexual assault, a spokesperson, Mary Briggs, for Lee Health released the following statement:
“Lee Health is deeply disturbed by the alleged conduct of this former employee. The safety and well-being of our patients are our highest priority. All of our employees undergo a thorough background screening process prior to employment, which includes a national and local criminal record search.
“On the rare occasion when a crime is alleged, we investigate immediately and take the appropriate steps based on the results of our investigation. In this case, the employee was immediately terminated.”
Briggs added, “This is a very unfortunate situation, but the actions of this individual are not reflective of the excellent and professional care provided in our hospitals each day.”
“The allegations were brought forward on July 15. His last day of employment was July 16.”
Hechavarria was contacted to relay his side of the story, but he was not available for comment.
The investigation is ongoing.
[Featured Image by Lee County Sheriff’s Office]