Former nurse gets prison for assault on patients | NevadaAppeal.com

Former nurse gets prison for assault on patients

by F.T. Norton

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Jason Laurie listens during his sentencing hearing Thursday.

Despite pleas Thursday by five victims that Jason Laurie be sent to prison for 20 years, a Carson City judge sentenced the former emergency room nurse to seven and a half years in prison for drugging and molesting female patients.

“What you took away from these people is trust and a sense of security,” said District Judge Bill Maddox, rejecting Laurie’s request for probation. “I do observe that you have no prior history, but there’re some things that you do that have to be punished.”

Laurie, 30, admitted to two counts of open and gross lewdness and one count of administering a controlled substance to aid in the commission of a crime for the assaults on seven female patients.

In a letter to the court, he blamed his “isolated blunder” on an addiction to Internet pornography, an unfounded fear that he had cancer and a failing marriage.

“I would like to apologize to those I’ve offended and to their husbands and children,” the married father said tearfully during the afternoon hearing. “I understand all to well the repercussions of my actions. I realize fully that probably not 137 days in jail, nor 20 years in prison, will patch those feelings that were hurt.”

According to court documents, between September 2003 and February 2004 Laurie, then a nurse in the observation unit of the emergency room at Carson-Tahoe Hospital, would drug the victims until they were unable to move or were unconscious, then sexually assault them.

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“You shook my hand and told me I was going to be OK,” one victim said. “I thought I was in good hands, but no, I was in the devil’s hands.”

The woman, overcome with emotion, was helped from the witness stand by a Sexual Assault Response advocate.

“I was seeking medical attention, not to be molested and touched by a stranger,” another woman said.

“You have not only come into our life uninvited, you’ve made all of us take a second look at our safety,” a 41-year-old married mother of three said. “I have to live every day trying to rebuild my trust in people.”

When Maddox handed down the sentence, her husband couldn’t contain his anger.

“That’s disgusting,” he spat angrily as he left the courtroom.

In the hallway he consoled his wife, who collapsed to her knees in tears.

Laurie will be eligible for parole after 36 months, Chief Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer said. She noted the victims will be able to testify to the parole board before a decision on parole is made.

“I’m very disappointed with the sentence,” she said. “But it was the judge’s decision. I just hope (Laurie) serves past the 36 months. He definitely deserves it.”

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