Male nurse pleads in patient assaults | NevadaAppeal.com

Male nurse pleads in patient assaults

by F.T. Norton

A former emergency room nurse will face up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 2 for fondling sedated patients under his care.

Jason Laurie, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of open and gross lewdness for fondling the breasts of two female patients. He pleaded no contest to administering a controlled substance to aid in the commission of a crime and to another count of open and gross lewdness regarding the fondling of five others.

In entering the no-contest pleas, Laurie contends he didn’t commit the crimes, but admits the state has enough evidence for a conviction, public defender Steven McGuire said.

The original criminal complaint charging Laurie with 12 counts, including one charge of sexual assault, was replaced by the amended complaint to which he pleaded guilty, according to court documents.

His prior plea of guilty in June 2003 to gross misdemeanor open and gross lewdness was absorbed into Tuesday’s plea, Judge Bill Maddox said.

Laurie, a former Carson-Tahoe Hospital emergency-room nurse, was arrested Feb. 14, 2003, after a woman told police he drugged her and sexually assaulted her while she was under his care at the hospital.

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Six other women subsequently came forward to claim they too had been accosted by Laurie.

The case was scheduled to go to trial Oct. 4.

Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer said she expects victim testimony to take a few hours during the sentencing hearing Nov. 2.

The open and gross lewdness charges carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. The drug charge is 12 months to 20 years.

Langer said she plans to argue for the maximum.

Laurie remains free on $125,000 bail.

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

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