MURRIETA – A June 14 trial date was confirmed today for an ex- nurse accused of sexually assaulting bed-ridden patients at a Murrieta hospital.
Paul Robert Simon, 53, could face more than nine 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.
During a status hearing before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Johnson, the defense and prosecution made tentative commitments to be prepared for trial in mid-June, though another status conference will be held on May 17 to confirm the trial schedule.
Simon is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the defendant’s alleged acts occurred when he worked at Rancho Springs Medical Center.
An investigation was initiated by a special agent with the state Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse in late 2010 following reports of possible criminal activity by a nurse.
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 required physical assistance, however, because of trouble moving her limbs.
According to investigators, on one occasion, Simon — her assigned nurse — allegedly went to her bedside and used her hand to masturbate him and on another occasion molested her while giving her a bath.
In August 2010, one of his coworkers allegedly spied the defendant feeling the inner thigh of a 57-year-old female patient who was unconscious in her bed.
The hospital fired him not long afterward.
The California Department of Justice referred the case to the D.A.’s Office, which filed a complaint against Simon in January.