Saturday, June 9, 2007

Police: Worker molested patient

Willoughby Mariano
Sentinel Staff Writer

June 9, 2007

A Florida Hospital East health-care worker was arrested late Friday after a patient said he molested her while she was in her hospital bed, deputies said.

Javier Rodriguez, 34, a phlebotomist, was supposed to take blood from the woman about 9 a.m. Friday at the east Orange County hospital, said sheriff's Sgt. Richard Mankewich.

But instead, Mankewich said, Rodriguez molested her.

According to arrest records, Rodriguez asked the woman to change positions so he could take her blood. The patient, who is in her 30s, said she could not because a catheter was being used, and it hurt.

Rodriguez, who is not qualified to work with catheters, said he would check the device. But he made lewd comments about her body and sexually molested her, Mankewich said.

"The kinds of comments he made were extremely sexual and disturbing," Mankewich said.

The patient ordered Rodriguez out of her room and called law enforcement.

Late Friday deputies led Rodriguez, who was still wearing his maroon hospital scrubs, to a waiting vehicle to be taken to Orange County Jail. He made no comment.

Rodriguez faces one count of felony sexual battery and one count of misdemeanor battery. He has worked at Florida Hospital East for three years, he told investigators.

Because of the nature of the case, the victim's name was not released.

Willoughby Mariano can be reached at or 407-420-5171.

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