Reporting Tony Lopez
FOLSOM (CBS13) – A male nurse at a well-respected local hospital is accused of sexually abusing at least one of his patients.
The court documents are disturbing. They allege a male nurse on staff at Mercy Folsom since April of 2010 violated a sacred trust between patient and nurse.
The shocking allegations are that while working in the intensive care unit at the hospital, Daniel Ratner sexually abused a female patient under his care.
READ: Criminal Complaint
The details laid out in the criminal complaint allege that on Oct. 19 of last year the “defendant did willfully and unlawfully touch an intimate part of Jane Doe (patient) while she was medically incapacitated for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, and sexual abuse.”
Reaction from patients and visitors outside the hospital was strong.
“People today, I don’t know how you can figure them out,” one said.
But comment from Mercy Folsom hasn’t been swift. Denying our request for an on-camera interview, the hospital released the following statement from hospital president Michael Ricks.
“Our top priority is to provide excellent care and to maintain the safety and privacy of our patients. We take this matter very seriously and are continuing to cooperate with the local authorities on their investigation. This person is no longer employed at the hospital. Our employees provide exceptional care to our patients and we continually emphasize the importance of patient privacy in our daily work.”
In addition to the two counts of sexual battery on a patient, Ratner is accused of four other felony charges. Folsom Police say are not connected to his job as a nurse – he faces four counts of possession of child pornography.
But two other counts of videotaping or taking sexually explicit pictures of someone without their consent – those are part of an internal investigation at the hospital.
As a result, CBS13 has learned of an internal memo was sent to all Mercy Folsom nurses and staff.
“The personal use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices during work time, particularly in patient care areas, is prohibited,” the memo read in part. “Using cell phones to take pictures or videos or to send text messages that contain patient information is also strictly prohibited.”
CBS13 went to Ratner’s home, but no one answered. However, a neighbor did tell us that Ratner lives there with his wife, who is also an ICU nurse.
“When we see this, it really is disappointing,” said Russ Heimerich, California Department of Consumer Affairs.
A spokesman for California’s Board of Registered Nursing says Ratner’s been a licensed nurse in the state since 2008, and has had no disciplinary actions up until now. The board immediately suspended his license upon his arrest.
Now, the board says, the next step is revoking Ratner’s license permanently.
“We’re going to work to protect consumers,” said Heimerich.
We have learned Ratner was immediately fired after his arrest. He is now out on bail.
Mercy Folsom Hospital issued the following statement:
“Our top priority is to provide excellent care and to maintain the safety and privacy of our patients. We take this matter very seriously and are continuing to cooperate with the local authorities on their investigation.”
Mercy Folsom Hospital President