I-Team: DNA from Las Vegas nurse accused of sex assault matches what patient kept as evidence, prosecutor says

I-Team

Case against nurse moves ahead

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — DNA from a nurse accused of sexually assaulting a patient in her hospital bed matched evidence that the patient reportedly kept after the incident, a prosecutor said in court Monday.

Katherine Burnett, 54, said she woke up to Ricardo Mederos, 31, on top of her. She said she was sedated at the time and has been battling cancer since 2012.

In court documents first obtained by the I-Team, investigators write Mederos allegedly assaulted Burnett on Aug. 24 and Aug. 29. Burnett told investigators she had received sedatives in the middle of the night and fell asleep both times.

During Mederos’ preliminary hearing Monday, prosecutor Lisa Luzaich said she had amended the criminal complaint filed against Mederos and that he could face life in prison if convicted.

Mederos did not testify during the hearing.

During the first alleged incident, Mederos is accused of touching Burnett’s breast and performing a sex act in front of her. According to court documents, Mederos told Burnett not to talk about what she saw.

According to police, Mederos told Burnett “he had people that could make sure that [Burnett] didn’t speak again” and “people on this floor will take care of it if you say anything.” In addition, Burnett told police Mederos told her “he would say that I was blackmailing him for pain meds,” documents said.

Katherine Burnett, 54, said she woke up to Ricardo Mederos, 31, on top of her. She said she was sedated at the time and has been battling cancer since 2012. (KLAS)

According to police, fluid on a napkin and on a face mask tested positive for semen. Luzaich’s comment Monday was the first time investigators said Mederos’ DNA matched what was on the napkin and mask.

Mederos is a licensed registered nurse with the Nevada State Board of Nursing, records show. He has no prior disciplinary record with the board and no criminal history. A judge ordered him not to work as a nurse or in any health care capacity.

Mederos’ lawyer, Jess Marchese, said Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center has since fired his client.

In a lawsuit filed last year, a woman in her late-40s claims a similar incident involving Mederos happened to her at Sunrise in November 2019. 8 News Now is not naming the woman as she is a sexual assault victim who has not publicly discussed her claim.

Mederos is on house arrest while his case moves forward. He was due to be arraigned in district court on Nov. 23.

8 News Now does not identify victims of sexual assault, however, Burnett has talked openly about her experience and did an interview with the I-Team.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

8 news now breaking and daily news sign up

CONTESTS

Pro Football Challenge

Don't Miss

Trending Stories