LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The patient who made a report to Metro police alleging a nurse at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center sexually assaulted her told police the 31-year-old man touched her breast and performed a sexual act in her presence.
Katherine Burnett, 54, said she woke up to Ricardo Mederos on top of her, she told the I-Team last week. She said she was sedated at the time and has been battling cancer since 2012.
“This wasn’t a dream. I woke up,” Burnett said. “Most people aren’t able to wake up or aren’t aware of what’s going on around them.”
Burnett said she was able to use a napkin left behind from a meal to save some evidence.
“We know what happened to my client,” Burnett’s attorney, Matthew Hoffmann, said. “What we don’t know is if there were prior incidents.”
Mederos, 31, was arraigned last Thursday on two counts of coercion with force or threat of force and two counts of open or gross lewdness. He 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.
During his arraignment, Judge Joe Bonaventure said police believe there may be additional victims. Mederos is also under investigation for an incident from 2019, Bonaventure said in court. It was unclear if the incident happened at Sunrise.
“We have taken immediate steps to support and protect our patient, and the employee has been suspended pending the results of the investigation,” Dan McFadden, a spokesman for the hospital, told 8 News Now last week. “When made aware of the alleged incident, we immediately notified law enforcement and we are assisting with their investigation. As a community dedicated to healing, we are heartbroken that something like this could happen.”
Bonaventure 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. He is due in court again Wednesday.
“People need to know that these things are happening in these hospitals and women need to share it,” Burnett said. “Women need to speak up and fight against it.”
Metro detectives believe there may be additional victims. Tips can be left anonymously by contacting CrimeStoppers at 702-385-5555. Detectives in the case can be reached directly at 702-828-3421.