Boston

Medical Worker Accused of Raping Patient at Back Bay Health Center

The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, Mass General said in a statement

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A Boston hospital worker accused of sexually assaulting a patient during an exam now faces rape charges, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Damien Knighton, 39, was charged with rape and indecent assault and battery.

Prosecutors say the victim was at the Massachusetts General Hospital Back Bay Health Center on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston for a follow-up appointment for a shoulder and leg injury when he was approached by Knighton, the medical assistant.

Knighton allegedly told the victim that the doctor had requested another test, and had the victim remove his clothing. He told the victim he needed to examine his penis and testicles. According to prosecutors, the victim said that Knighton then touched his penis and testicles, and inserted a finger into his rectum twice.

After the victim got dressed he asked other staff about the exam, determined he'd been sexually assaulted, and then called 911.

“Patients entering an exam room have every expectation of receiving proper medical attention and proper ethical treatment. This incident presents an egregious violation of those expectations. I’m grateful the victim made authorities aware of what happened to him,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a media release.

Mass General said that Knighton has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

"We have been made aware that an employee at MGH Back Bay Healthcare Center was arrested in connection with a criminal complaint i the workplace. We take these allegations very seriously and are fully cooperating with Boston Police," a statement from the health system reads. "Patients are our first priority and we strive to provide a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for all who seek our care."

Knighton pleaded not guilty. He was held on a $5,000 bail and ordered to have no contact with the victim or unsupervised access to patients. He is scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on Feb. 23.

Resources for victims of sexual assault are available through the National Sexual Violence Resources Center and the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-4673, and Massachusetts provides this list of statewide and resources for sexual assault survivors.

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