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Holy Cross nursing assistant charged with sex attack on patient

September 20, 2012 |  9:20 am

Nursing instructorA nursing assistant at Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills has been arrested and charged with sexual battery on a patient, and Los Angeles police detectives  suspect there may be additional victims. 

Jeremias Diego, 44, allegedly assaulted the female patient Monday in her hospital bed while her sister lay asleep nearby in the darkened room, police said.

“After conducting several interviews, we now believe Diego may have done this to other patients as well,” said Det. Michael Brox, a senior detective at the LAPD's Mission police station.

Diego entered the 43-year-old woman’s room around 4 a.m., to take her vital signs and then removed some of the woman’s garments and touched her inappropriately under the bed covers, Lt. Paul Vernon said. 

The alleged assault was interrupted when the woman tossed a tissue box at her sleeping sister to awaken her, Vernon said. She and her sister reported the behavior to nurses, who immediately called police, Vernon said.

Diego, a Thousand Oaks resident, has worked as a nursing assistant at Holy Cross since April.

Administrators at Providence Holy Cross also told detectives of an earlier complaint lodged against Diego by a female patient.  

LAPD detectives said they also have contacted the Los Robles Care Center in Ojai, where Diego worked until August, but administrators there said they were unaware of any similar reports at that facility. Los Angeles city prosecutors have charged Diego with two counts of sexual battery and set his bail at $40,000. He is slated to appear in court on Friday.

Anyone with information can reach Det. Brox at (818) 838-9902. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637


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Photo: Jeremias Diego.  Credit: LAPD