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Posted on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

Police investigating nurse for improper sexual contact with patient at U-M Hospital

By John Counts

A 35-year-old man could face a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for inappropriate contact with a female hospital patient, police said.

The man was a temporary contract nurse in the emergency room at the University of Michigan Hospital on Dec. 7 when the alleged incident took place. He has not been officially charged, but U-M police continue to investigate and charges could be forthcoming, police said.

"He will no longer be working at university hospitals," said Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the U-M Police Department.

Police were not releasing the name of the company the man worked for or if he was still employed with them. The age of the woman also is not being released, but police said she was an adult.

She came to the emergency room on Dec. 7 for a non-life threatening medical condition. During a procedure, she told police the man had inappropriate sexual contact with her. Police could not got into detail about the contact.

The woman reported it first to hospital personnel on Dec. 10. Hospital officials in turn informed police of the situation.

The case remains open and police continue to investigate.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 7:03 a.m.

When you are in enough Medical Distress to require you to visit the ER, sometimes you have to get naked. I've got the T-shirt. Some patients are nut cases. Let's all give the male nurse a break. He did the best he could with what he had. So what if the ER patient showed some of her private parts? Wouldn't be the first time the male nurse viewed some female anatomy.

John Beck

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

When did they tell the police? Is this another hospital security police thing??


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 11:40 a.m.

There are a number of good reasons for reporting "investigated" criminal activity to the public. It not only gives a heads up as to what "may" be going on in their world until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt allowing for greater public awareness of their "potential" reality, it also shows information transparency which is crucial for any valid democracy (or decision making system). The story - "police are investigating". end of story. It is up to you to determine the worth to you. In particular. the University of Michigan has come under fire for being too opaque in its news reporting and even though this is week-old news (ahem) it is newsworthy as nurses (and doctors) have breached the law in this area before. My question - Why did the woman wait three days to report the incident if it was so serious? Stay tuned for an answer after these messages ...


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 4:14 a.m.

Gee, how unusual: commenters completely unhinged for no reason. As far as I can tell, they've simply reported what the police have said (sort of like those old police blotters you might remember in the old days of "real" newspapers), and added one quote from the university. Why is everyone upset that they've reported on an investigation?


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 4:26 a.m.

Bingo, @ArthGuinness, bingo!


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

The guy is only a nurse, a contract nurse, the UMHS and the UM-Police don't need any evidence or a witness to get him fired. Has a criminal charge filed yet? If the guy was a doctor, would he be treated differently? YES! A resident doctor, who was watching "child porn" during his"on call?..... Not bad enough to investigate. A senior doctor, who has involved an inside trading..... A retirement at age 80 with full benefits.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

Hey UM, STOP being CHEAP and hire your OWN full time staff instead of temps and contract personnel...just sayin...

Joe Kidd

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

Sorry I am so late checking your response Jimmy. I still do not see why the union does not look at this in re to OT. Or a change in the contract if you choose to drop benefits for more pay. This just seems so contrary to typical union behavior.


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

Yea, they make between 35-40/hr. I imagine in the long run its cheaper for the hospital to higher agency nurses for a few shifts here and there and pay them a bit more, than either A) to higher more benefitted employees, or B) allow current staff to work as much OT as they want. Being a nurse is not what it used to be. Will never be again I'm afraid.

Joe Kidd

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

Interesting info Jimmy. I am surprised the nurse's union agrees to this practice because it denies members the ability to work overtime. that is perhaps less then time and a half isn't it? What is the union position on this? Also is that correct, a contract nurse makes $15 to $20 more per hour? That is a lot of money. So if a nurse makes $20/hr, these folks are making $35 to $40 and hour?


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 11:41 p.m.

Agency nurses, like the one in question here, make on average $15-$20/hr more than staffed benefitted nurses. They do not receive benefits through UofM, therefore get paid at a heigher base rate. And yes, they are only used when the patient census exceeds available staff. So your comment on being "cheap" is obviously lacking some insight...just sayin...


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

Quite frankly, contract nurses probably make as much if not more per hour, and are used to fill in when staffing needs are higher than expected.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

False police reports never happen in Ann Arbor. Never. Ever. Never never never. Not since Tuesday, anyway, and before lunch, too.

Patti Smith

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

Do you folks question the authenticity of other crimes? I have no idea what happened but I rarely see this sort of questioning when a beating or robbery is reported. That said, my best friend is an ER RN (errn? :)) and she has echoed what Jimmy says. Again though, I have to wonder if people would be calling this "tabloid reporting" if a patient had said he was ripped off by a nurse.

Matt Cooper

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:36 a.m.

While not in the ER, I have worked in an ICU setting for nearly 12 years, and Jimmy and Tim are both correct. It is nearly impossible, especially in such a fast-paced environment as an emergency room such as the one at the U of M, to have a witness present each and every time a health care professional needs to administer medical care to their patient. There's simply too much going on not only with your own patients, but for other nurses and their patients as well, to be stopping (as a male) and asking a female to come to witness every patient contact I may have with female patients, and personally I think it's rather a silly notion to expect one to do that. While I will not make comments re: the guilt or innocence of the nurse, nor will I comment on whether or not the patient's claims have any merit, because I wasn't there, I will say hold your horses to those that would presume the guilt of the male nurse. In the privacy of a trauma bay or an exam room in any ER, when only the patient and the nurse are present, the patient cay say just about anything happens whether it did or did not actually happen. Let's just hope there is a thorough investigation that will clearly either prove or disprove the accusations made, and that the 'guilty' party on either side is punished according to law.


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:32 a.m.

Patti good job....these folks obviously are under the impression that nurses and other selct individuals should be treated differently than the ordinary person. I commend your reporting because the general public has a right to know what's going on in their publicly financed institutions. These critical folks are taking a protectionist attitude and trying justify a different set of rules being applicable and that's jhust plain hogwash. Keep up the good work Patti.


Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 4:06 a.m.

Would have been better to not report it in the news until more information is known.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

You make a very valid point. Victims of sexually based crimes are overwhelmingly blamed in some regard for the acts committed to them. This is a phenomenon well documented in both the social science and legal journals. Questioning the innocence of the victim even has its own methodology.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Tim Hornton is on the right track when he says to have a witness. This is my standard practice whenever I'm involved with a similar situation. As a male nurse, you cannot put your career at the whim of anyone coming through the ER doors. You have to practice defensively while giving the best care possible. Period.

Tim Hornton

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Its a different context. Nurses usually have to physically contact with patients in uncomfortable areas in stressful situations. If I was a male nurse I'd always try to a witness with me when seeing a patient but I know that is not always possible. I did work in an er for a while with contact with patients and many of the people going through there are crazy on drugs or alcohol. It is very stressful so I wouldn't judge this guy unless convicted


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

Lives can be ruined by this kind of story. At least the nurses name wasn't published.

Matt Cooper

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.

snapshot, what's your big deal with needing to know the persons name when they haven't been charged with any crime? Shall we lable him a sex offender long before charges, arraignment and trial? Maybe it's not about secrecy. Maybe it's about respecting the rule of law.


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:27 a.m.

So secrecy is the order of the day for you? That's what the caused the BBC sexual molestations to go unreported, and Sandusky, and the child pornography case at the U of M. Who do you want to protect?

Steve Hendel

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

"He will no longer be working at university hospitals," said Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the U-M Police Department. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence, ESPECIALLY since charges have not been filed, let alone adjudicated?

Joe Kidd

Mon, Dec 31, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Sorry I am so late Matt in rechecking my posts. My point is in response to the original post and arrest is a perfect example. If the innocence presumption was absolute, no one could be arrested or jailed pending trial. I am not a lawyer but I was a detective for three decades and this is how the lawyers described it to us. The issue is that some people cite it like it is absolute.

Matt Cooper

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:25 a.m.

Joe Kidd, I'm not sure where you got your law degree, but presumption of innocence has nothing whatever to do with someone being arrested or not, or held pending trial. Nor does the fact of someone being held in jail pending trial indicate an absence of a presumption of innocence. So I'm not really clear on what point you were trying to make. Secondly, it sounds like this guy was/is a travel nurse from an outside agency, and therefore is not directly employed by the University. Because he was not in the direct employ of the University, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Ms. Brown stating that he won't be back to work at the U of M as the U can inform any travel nurse agency they contract with that they may or may not want any specific individuals in that agencies employ to come work at the U. So again, what point are you trying to make? If the person is arraigned on criminal charges, these are, after all, public record and their name will be made public regardless of guilt or innocense. If the person is not arraigned or charged criminally, their name will not be in the public record, so no harm, no foul.

Joe Kidd

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

Actually, the concept presumption of innocence does not apply here. Many people incorrect apply it to any incident. In fact it is a standard applicable only in court. That is where you start in court, the jury must consider you innocent and change that opinion based on the evidence presented. In real life that is not true. Whether you are found guilty or innocent by a jury or if a case does not go to trial for some reason, like the victim decided not a pursue it or the prosecutor felt the case was weak and refused to charge, that has no bearing on whether or not one is truly guilty. I believe Ms. Brown should not have made that statement since, for example the victim could recant and report the allegation was false. If so, should the person identified loose a chance at employment even after exoneration? If presumption of innocence was unfettered, then no person could be held in jail pending trial, or perhaps even arrested. The 4th amendment confirms this by using the word "unreasonable" when referring to the govt taking of your body or your possessions. If the action is reasonable, it is allowed.

Jake C

Sun, Dec 16, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

I know of numerous people who have been fired without having legal charges filed against them. Being late, or lazy, or disrespectful isn't illegal, but it can still get you fired. Merely being accused of sexual abuse on the job can be enough to get you fired even if charges are never filed.

Basic Bob

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

"The nurse should be paid while they investigate the claim" As a contract employee, he will not be paid while they investigate. His employer will either reassign him to another facility or terminate him. It would not be surprising if he is transferred to a less rewarding assignment with fewer hours, a longer commute, or night shift. This is perfectly legal and it may encourage him to find a job elsewhere.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

It's like leaving a teacher to continue to teach while said teacher is being investigated for sexual assault of a child. The fact that this person is working with sick or incapacitated people needs to take first priority. The nurse should be paid while they investigate the claim. I'm glad they didn't publish the nurse's name.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 4:11 a.m.

I'm OK with publishing the article, as my critical thinking skills are still intact.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

@tdw, thumbs up, thumbs down, I don't care. I don't comment on stories looking to be validated with as many thumbs up as possible; I don't feel any negativity if the sign next to that Voter Score is negative; I comment because I think I have something to add to the discussion. If it should enhance the story for you by an amount measured even on a nanoscale, well then fine. If not, I regret I wasted a tiny portion of your time. I don't see what the problem is in publishing this story. More often than not, is criticized for publishing stories too late in the game, rather than as they develop. From what I can gather from this story, a complaint was made to the UM Police Dept. about a possible assault at UM Hospital. This is a fact, as no one appears to be disputing that a complaint was made, nor is anyone disputing the nature of the complaint. No one, though, has been charged or arraigned so, of course, the alleged assailant's name would not be released unless and until that occurred. It also appears to be a fact that he will no longer be allowed to work at University Hospitals, based on the statement by Diane Brown. So, what we have is a story that has published factual information without having besmirched anyone's reputation, as no one is identified by name. Why is that a problem for you? I read the story, I took in the factual information disclosed, and that was it. I have no opinion as to whether or not any crime took place as I do not have enough information. I have no opinion as to whether or not someone unjustly accused a nurse, as I do not have enough information. I will await further information (if should choose to follow up on the story, a practice that is not their strong point). For me, at this point it is essentially just a tidbit of trivia under the broad category of Crime News, no more and no less.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

DBH.....I thumbs downed you ( I have the guts to admit it with a reply ) My critical thinking skills are intact as well.This person is just accused.No facts (other than the accuser was in the ER),no details or charges have been made.I can accuse anyone of anything in a hospital but without any type of public info it does not make it news worthy


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 2:54 a.m.

Tablod "reporting" by You ought to do a small press run and sell it at the super market check-out lanes.


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:25 a.m.

A police report was filed and I have a right to know what's going on in a "public" institution supported by tax dollars. What's your problem with transparency? Is it a union issue for you?


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

Not that I'm doubting the assault actually took place, but I work in healthcare as an RN and a loooot of people come to the ER who aren't exactly right in the head and a lot of people try to pull shenanigans to get a free payday. I truly think that this article serves absolutely no purpose. It would have made much more sense to have waited for at least a conclusion to the investigation before writing it. Just saying.


Mon, Dec 17, 2012 : 5:23 a.m.

Jimmy, are you indicating personnel are not trained properly? If so, maybe they are not vetted properly either. I have a "right" to know. If you want to keep things hush hush then move to the middle east.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

justcurious, this is a COMPLETELY different situation. We as nurses HAVE to physically come into contact with patients. It would be impossible to do our jobs without touching. Often times in ER's, especially level 1 trauma centers like UofM, there is no time to find a witness to come with you or ask a female nurse to swap patients with you in order to deliever care.


Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Nurses should not be treated any different than anyone else. Did you also protest the recent article about the man who was accused and named on here, along with his family members and business? If not, then it would seem hypocritical of you wouldn't it?

Silly Sally

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

exactly right.