LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A nurse at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center accused of sexually assaulting a patient in her hospital bed reportedly threatened her if she told anyone what happened, court documents obtained by the I-Team said.
Katherine Burnett, 54, said she woke up to Ricardo Mederos, 31, on top of her last month. 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 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.
“She states following the act he would enter her room several times to ‘remind her’ not to say anything and ‘remind’ her of his threats,” police wrote. In the Aug. 29 incident, Burnett said she was able to use a napkin left behind from a meal to save some evidence.
According to police, fluid on that napkin, and on a face mask, tested positive for semen.
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.
“It’s scary for anybody that’s been hospitalized and sedated might question was I a victim and just not even know about it,” Burnett’s attorney, Matt Hoffmann, said.
“I believe that if I don’t speak up, that someone else is going to become his victim or someone else’s victim,” Burnett said.
Mederos faces one count of coercion with force or threat of force and two counts of open or gross lewdness. An attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
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 set bail at $3,000 and said Mederos could not practice as a nurse until a further court hearing. A Metro spokesperson confirmed Mederos was released on house arrest.
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 and the hospital deny the claims in responses filed in court.
A judge revoked his nursing license as this criminal case moves forward.