An Ethiopian immigrant who was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Portland, Oregon is behind bars, charged with rape, unlawful sexual penetration and other sexual contact with patients who were 87 and 94 years old.
Around a half dozen other alleged victims came forward after the September 14 arrest of Adeladilew A. Mekonen and he is likely to face “many more charges,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to Breitbart News. As the online record of who is in custody in Washington County shows, the 34-year-old suspect is currently facing 18 charges.
Even more shocking: a lawsuit filed on behalf of the 87-year-old victim claims that many of the assaults could’ve been prevented had the hospital where the accused rapist worked acted after the 94-year-old victim told the hospital she had been raped back in June.
The lawsuit alleges that Providence St. Vincent Medical Center:
knew and had reason to know that Adeladilew Mekonen had abused and was likely to again sexually abuse ill and elderly female patients, including plaintiff, if he were allowed to be alone with them in their rooms, and yet defendant Providence directed and allowed Mekonen to continue to attend such female patients, including plaintiff, under such circumstances.
As the 87-year-old woman’s attorney Greg Kafoury told Portland TV station KOIN: “When you get an accusation as serious as this, you’re really supposed to do something about it,” Kafoury said about the hospital’s actions. “You’re not supposed to look for the first door out and try to look for a way to say it never happened.”
It is unclear what happened in June after the lawsuit claims the 94-year-old woman told the hospital she had been raped but Providence St. Vincent gave KOIN 6 News this statement:
Providence has been working closely with law enforcement and prosecutors in this ongoing investigation. As additional patients contacted us, we worked with Washington County detectives to connect patients with investigators and conduct interviews. We played a direct part in helping detectives take action in these new cases. Providence is committed to the safety of our patients and their families. In all of our hospitals, we have a team of people working to review and investigate any patient concerns we receive. We work every day to earn the trust of our patients, just as we have been doing for 160 years.
The suspect’s neighbor, Jeff Reed, expressed dismay to news station KATU, telling the station he was shocked to hear the allegations after Mekonoen’s arrest. “I thought he was a very nice guy, family oriented,” said Reed, who lives across from Mekonen at an apartment complex in Southeast Portland.
Mekonen had been working at the hospital since May, just a month before the first rape was allegedly reported.
Breitbart News has confirmed with the Washington County authorities that the suspect, Adeladilew Mekonen, told a detective that he came to the United States from Ethiopia in 2011.