A nursing assistant at John Muir Hospital accused of groping a male patient at the hospital a year ago has been acquitted of charges he entered the patient’s room and groped him last year.
All charges against health care worker Cody Baca, 31, were dropped this week after a jury weighing the case found in Baca’s favor.
Baca was charged earlier this year after a patient said he entered the patient’s room and touched him inappropriately, an accusation Baca denied. County prosecutors added a burglary charge to the sexual battery allegation because the nursing assistant allegedly entered the patient’s room with the intent of committing a crime.
A jury found Baca innocent of all charges earlier this week, a decision supported by administrators at John Muir, who also initiated an independent internal investigation into the charges after allegations were made.
Hospital officials said they believed the jury’s decision to acquit Baca was the correct one, and further expressed their support for Baca and his family.
Defense counsel for the hospital worker argued in court that his accuser had been ill and receiving medication in the days prior to the allegation, saying the patient may have been delusional at the time.
That couldn’t have been fun to go through. Caregivers frequently encounter this kind of scenario unfortunately and the combination of meds and failing memories and minds can result in dire accusations for those trying to assist.
Awful. My mom imagined all sorts of incredible things in her final days. It got to the point where we tried to keep more than one person with her at all times to serve as a witness if necessary. Our minds do fail us. This couldn’t have been an easy thing to go through and I am sure it will happen again — it’s just one of the many prices we pay as we age, get sick.
If it can happen at JMH — which is well staffed and gets high grades for its service — just think how often this kind of thing happens at smaller hospitals and nursing homes.
Someone on your facebook just made a great suggestion about using body cams by nurses and staff. Good idea.
Patients will not consent (and rightfully so) to being recorded for no good reason re: their health
No. Not a good idea. Privacy rights. Consent required. Informed consent!
Either he was falsely accused, or he sexually assaulted a patient. Baca’s DNA was found on his genitals, and they felt they had enough evidence to bring the case forward. Either the patient was delusional, or another case of getting away with sexual assault. It happens, and the only way to avoid it is two medical professionals in the room at all times. Witnesses are necessary for the safety of the employee and the patient, but it’s not a reality in a hospital. I don’t know if the patient was an elderly man, but the elderly are at a much higher risk for sexual battery. Either way, very sad.
I like the camera idea. I think it would cut down on a lot of these allegations. It might also cut down on abuses we have seen in nursing homes etc.
“Our office only files criminal charges if we can believe we can prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt. The complaining victim in this case testified during the trial and he reported to John Muir Health personnel and local law enforcement that the defendant fondled his genitals multiple times. Evidence presented at the trial reviewed that Walnut Creek Police then spoke with the victim and collected a DNA swab from his genitals. The DNA swab was tested at the local crime lab. The defendant’s DNA profile was found on the DNA swab. Last year a preliminary hearing was held and a superior court judge found that there was a strong suspicion that these charges were true and the defendant was held to answer. The jury’s decision is final in this case after deliberating for five days.”
As a former hospital administrator, no comment. As a taxpayer – we need well-educated professional jurors.
I firmly believe this patient. If we don’t, who will? THIS STUFF HAPPENS people. More often than you’d like to know.
Sounds like this medical assistant got some good representation.
Two medical assistances in every room provides accountability for one’s actions.
But are cameras legal in this forum? That man’s genitals would be on video and nothing good can come of that these days. I support the idea though.
I believe this patient too. It’s extremely rare for someone to be falsely accused of sexual assault. Men sexually assault women, children and other men. There’s a 17.5 million dollar civil case pending. Granted, some would say he’s looking for a payday. Or maybe he’s suing for a very large dollar amount because it really did happen, and he didn’t receive justice in the criminal case. Why do hospital administrators deny it? Denial or liability. Or both. Or maybe they really do believe this employee. Medications do cause side effects, but it doesn’t lead to the point where you’re telling hospital administrators and WCPD that you we’re sexually assaulted. That doesn’t make any sense.
I am Cody’s father. What was kept from the jury was that the alleged victim was a 32 year old illegal Mexican janitor who was previously denied state disability and unemployment. He also filed for an UVisa. This visa is for illegals who are victims of sexual assault. It gives them 4 years in the US, and they get to bring family from Mexico for support. Doesn’t matter if the person accused is convicted or not. The accusation along with a police report gets the visa. Also, the $17.5 million lawsuit was filed a few weeks after the accusations.
Trace DNA was found on the genitals. .344 nanograms of skin cells were found. This is equal to about 25 skin cells. 10,000 skin cells can fit on the tip (sharp end) of a regular sewing needle. There was no semen, blood or saliva, just skin cells.
And yes, he had a great team of attorneys and experts. We did what we could to protect our son from these false allegations and going to jail for 10 or more years.
Look up UVisa fraud, and you will see this is not an uncommon scam.
Thanks for reading and I hope I educated a few of you, respectfully.