MURRIETA – A trial date may be set next week for an ex-nurse accused of sexually assaulting bed-ridden patients in a Murrieta hospital.
Paul Robert Simon, 53, could face up to six years in prison if he’s convicted of three counts each of sexual battery on a medically incapacitated person and lewd acts by a caretaker on a dependent adult.
Simon, who worked at Rancho Springs Medical Center, is locked up in the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta in lieu of $200,000 bail. He appeared with his attorney this morning for a trial-setting conference before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Johnson, but the hearing was put off until April 11, according to court records.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, a special agent with the state Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse started an investigation in late 2010, based on reports of possible criminal activity.
One of the alleged victims was a 58-year-old woman admitted to Rancho Springs in April 2009. According to prosecutors, she was briefly on life support but emerged mentally alert. She, however, had trouble moving her limbs.
Simon — her assigned nurse — used her hand to masturbate him and, on another occasion, molested her while giving her a bath, prosecutor said.
In August 2010, one of his coworkers allegedly spied the Simon feeling the inner thigh of an unconscious 57-year-old woman patient. The hospital fired him not long afterward.
The state Department of Justice sent the case to the District Attorney’s Office, which charged Simon in January.