Former Murrieta Hospital Nurse Charged with Sexual Battery, Lewd Acts

Paul Robert Simon, 53, of Murrieta was arrested Tuesday, charged in two incidents dating back to 2009 while he worked as a nurse at Rancho Springs Medical Center.

MURRIETA, CA -- Editor's Note: This article was updated at 6:13 p.m. with a statement from a hospital spokesperson.

A Murrieta man who formerly worked as a nurse at Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta has been charged with sexual battery on two female patients he treated at the hospital, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

Paul Robert Simon, 53, was arrested on a $200,000 warrant at about 7 a.m. Tuesday, by Murrieta police officers at his apartment on Jackson Avenue in Murrieta, said John Hall, spokesperson for the DA's Office.

Simon has been charged with five felonies: three counts of sexual battery on a medically incapacitated person and two counts of lewd acts by a caretaker on a dependent adult, according to Hall.

The California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse began an investigation in late 2010 after it received reports about possible inappropriate or criminal activity by a nurse at the hospital, Hall said.

A special agent's investigation revealed the first alleged incident occurred in April 2009 when Simon was assigned to care for a 58-year-old woman who was briefly placed on life support after being admitted to the hospital.

"When she awoke, she had difficulty moving her body but was mentally alert. It is alleged that Simon...went to her bedside and used the woman’s hand to masturbate him. Another time, Simon reportedly touched the same victim inappropriately during a time he was bathing her," Hall said.

The second alleged incident occurred in August 2010, when at least one other nurse reported seeing Simon reaching up a 57-year-old unconscious female patient's hospital gown and inappropriately touching her upper thigh, Hall said the investigation revealed.

Rancho Springs Medical Center terminated Simon’s employment, Hall wrote in the news release, though it was not immediately clear when his employment ended.

"When Rancho Springs Medical Center learned of this incident, we immediately notified the proper authorities and the nurse was terminated," said Brian Connors, spokesperson for Southwest Healthcare System, which operates the Murrieta hospital.

The case was submitted to the DA after the Department of Justice completed its investigation.

Simon is scheduled to be arraigned on the five felony charges filed by the DA's Office at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Southwest Justice Center near Murrieta.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jason Stone of the DA’s Elder Abuse Unit.

If convicted on all counts, Simon faces up to six years in state prison.

Laura Stansfield February 08, 2013 at 03:30 PM
I had the same thought J Edwards....why wouldn't a hospital take every precaution to protect its patients' even when it comes to modesty/sexual appropriateness? My Mom, God rest her soul, passed of pancreatic cancer. She was young, 64, and in the hospital a lot. She had some very good male nurses, but demanded female nurses when she needed help in the restroom or bathing. Our family was always at the hospital with her to oversee her care and thus, didn't allow anything seemingly inappropriate to occur, but not everyone is as lucky to have people around to protect them while ill in hospital...people shouldn't have to think about their own safety/protection when supposedly in the "safe care" of hospital staff, but they do, just like our poor kids and staff at our schools these days....has anybody required Rancho springs to provide a patients advocate of the same sex to those patients that are immobile, unconcious etc since this has occured at their facility? Firing the nurse is only the first step at preventing this type of behavior...they should be required to have independent (non Rancho employees) on call at their facility to watch over these patients for a period of time....and I don't care if it costs them more $$$...that's the liability they have for hiring stinking perverts!
Dee February 08, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Yes, Brenda, female nurses are to be in the obgyn rooms.
Kristina Simon February 10, 2013 at 04:38 AM
He is innocent. This is coming from his daughter. My dad is the sweetest guy. He loves his work and hi co-workers. I love him deeply enough to Stand up for him. Rancho springs just wants him in jail because he always brags about me and how I'm in advanced stuff that's it. RANCHO SPRINGS ARE LIARS ALL AROUND AND MY DAD WAS HAPPY TO LEAVE AND I WAS TOO!!!
Kristina Simon February 10, 2013 at 04:39 AM
You guys are idiots believing rancho springs
Kristina Simon February 10, 2013 at 04:40 AM


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