Investigating a possible sexual assault at St John Medical Center

Monday, August 12th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police sex crimes detectives are trying to figure out what happened between and orderly and a 77-year-old patient at St John Medical Center.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright looks at whether the orderly sexually assaulted the woman as she lay in her hospital bed. A nurse who walked into the dimly lit room says she saw something amiss, but, isn't sure what. Investigators say before the assault allegation was even made, the orderly took off and hasn't been seen since.

The 77 year-old woman was on the hospital's 14th floor, a patient in the psychiatric ward, with organic brain syndrome, psychosis and memory loss. A nurse on duty, walked into the patient's room to check on her and saw something strange. Tulsa Police officer Vito Olson, "Once she was inside, she saw the orderly with the 77 year old woman's legs up around his shoulders and her nightgown up and her pants were off."

Police say the orderly told police he was trying to scoot the woman up in her bed, the nurse helped, then left, but the orderly stayed. The report says when the nurse came back in, she again, asked him what he was doing and this time, and he said he was looking for something. Right after that, police say the orderly said he hurt his back and had to leave, although he did not follow procedures for an on duty injury and told his supervisors, he wouldn't be back because he would be arrested.

The investigation is difficult because the victim could not help police due to her condition and the witnesses were gone. "I couldn't talk to the witnesses because I started my shift around seven and their shift ended at seven, so, they had all left." Police say the administrator and head of security were helpful in every way possible. A rape nurse examined the victim and her bed sheets were collected for evidence.

Sources tell us the results of the exam did show the woman suffered some type of trauma to her lower body, but can't say yet, what that means. The hospital fired the suspect for leaving work and failing to return.

A check of his name in the local and national crime computers shows no previous record.