Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Woman sues over alleged sex assault by hospital aide

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AFTER the Crown decided not to lay criminal charges against a health-care aide posing as a doctor, the alleged victim is proceeding with a lawsuit.

The Winnipeg woman is suing St. Boniface General Hospital and two of its employees 15 months after she complained she was sexually assaulted.

Winnipeg police did arrest and interview the hospital aide, but the woman's father told the Free Press in September 2011 the investigation was stalled after the aide admitted his actions to police but told them he was only following instructions. The aide has difficulty understanding English.

Police referred the matter to the Crown attorney's office, which declined to authorize charges.

News reports at the time said the aide had conducted an unauthorized rectal exam on the then-37-year-old woman, who was being treated for pancreatitis.

In documents filed recently in Court of Queen's Bench, the woman gives further details of the alleged assault.

She is seeking compensation for general, aggravated and punitive damages for sexual assault and battery against the hospital, the unnamed aide and an unnamed nurse who is alleged to have held her down while the assault took place.

Statements of defence have not been filed. The allegations have not been proven in court.

A spokeswoman for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said it would not comment on the lawsuit.

The woman originally complained to the hospital following the alleged Aug. 25, 2011 incident and hospital officials contacted Winnipeg police.

The woman is holding the hospital responsible for the actions of the aide and nurse, alleging it failed to establish adequate supervision and procedures for examination, failed to ensure the examination was carried out by qualified medical staff and failed to exercise reasonable care in hiring and supervision of its employees.

The woman alleges the aide presented himself as a doctor before he assaulted her and that the nurse helped him by holding her down.

The woman claims as a result of the alleged sexual assault, she has pain and suffering, depression, low self-esteem, lack of self-trust, difficulty being sexually or emotionally intimate and lives in a state of fear.

She said she requires ongoing therapy to treat the severe emotional and psychological injuries from the alleged assault.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2012 A11

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