Prosser nurse's aide charged with 2nd-degree rape of patient

By Mark Morey, Yakima Herald-Republic January 24, 2010 

YAKIMA -- A nursing assistant from Prosser has been charged with second-degree rape over allegations that he sexually molested a patient while he was working at a Grandview clinic.

J. Trinidad Rivera, 39, faces a Feb. 9 arraignment in Yakima County Superior Court.

Rivera was a state-certified nursing assistant when he agreed to interpret some documents for a patient at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic in Grandview on May 30, 2007, according to charges filed by the county prosecutor's office.

Rivera and the then-30-year-old man went into an exam room, where Rivera ordered the man to drop his pants and lay on an exam table, Grandview police detectives said. The man said that once he realized Rivera was molesting him, he left the clinic.

Glenn Cassidy, a spokesman for the clinic, said administrators learned of the incident on June 6, 2007, when the man reported it to staff at Prosser Memorial Hospital, where he had gone for surgery.

Detectives interviewed a clinic receptionist, who confirmed that the man had reported the incident to her immediately after he left the exam room.

Rivera, who received his state certification in 1992, had worked for the farm workers clinic for nearly four years. He was fired June 8, 2007, following a brief suspension, Cassidy said.

A nursing assistant is not approved to examine patients.

The state Department of Health suspended Rivera's license in early 2009 after he failed to respond to the state about the alleged incident involving the clinic patient.

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