An ex-nurse accused of sexually assaulting bedridden patients must stand trial on multiple felony charges, a judge ruled today.
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.
Following a preliminary hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Mandio ruled there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial in the case.
The judge scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for March 21 and left Simon’s bail set at $200,000.
The defendant was being held at the Southwest Detention Center.
The acts allegedly perpetrated by Simon occurred when he worked at Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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, Simon was allegedly seen by a coworker feeling the inner thigh of a 57-year-old female patient who was unconscious in her bed.
The hospital later fired him.
The California Department of Justice sent the case to the District Attorney’s Office, which filed a complaint against Simon in January.