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October 21, 2014

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Sixth patient reports assault by ex-hospital worker

Former nursing assistant accused of misconduct with female patients at Centennial Hills, Rawson Neal hospitals

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Steven Farmer

A former nursing assistant at Centennial Hills Hospital faces additional charges of sexual assault and lewdness involving patients after a sixth woman came forward with allegations of misconduct.

Steven Farmer, 56, was in Clark County District Court Wednesday for a procedural hearing. His trial, which was set for Monday, was rescheduled for June 22. That trial is for sexual assault charges involving five women, all alleged victims he encountered while working at either Centennial Hills or at a previous job at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital.

A separate trial was set for May 26 on charges involving the sixth alleged victim, who came forward with her allegations in November. He faces one count of sexual assault, five counts of lewdness and two counts of indecent exposure over an incident involving the 51-year-old patient at Centennial Hills Hospital. The woman said Farmer sexually assaulted her and repeatedly lifted up her hospital gown sometime in May 2008.

Farmer had earlier been charged with 10 counts including three charges of sexual assault, six counts of lewdness and one count of indecent exposure over incidents allegedly involving four other patients at Centennial Hills and one at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, which is near the corner of Cheyenne Avenue and Pecos Road. That woman testified last year that Farmer subjected her to a lewd act in late December 2007 at Rawson-Neal.

The woman also said that she and Farmer dated for approximately six weeks after she was released from the hospital. Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital officials could not be reached for comment.

Metro Police arrested Farmer at a home near Lake Mead Boulevard and Decatur Boulevard on May 16, 2008, after a patient at Centennial Hills Hospital decided to file charges over an incident earlier that day.

A 35-year-old woman told police that at 4:45 a.m. that day, Farmer sexually assaulted her while she was being moved from the emergency room to her assigned room at the hospital.

The woman was sedated and receiving treatment after suffering from a seizure. When she awoke at 6:30 a.m. she called her husband, who then notified police.

A second female patient at Centennial Hills told police that Farmer inappropriately exposed and touched her on May 15, 2008, while adjusting heart monitors on her chest.

A third female patient at the same hospital claimed that Farmer exposed and touched her while adjusting heart sensors on May 16.

A fourth female patient at Centennial Hills said that Farmer inappropriately rubbed against her for 30 seconds while the woman's two aunts were in the same room on April 27, 2008.

The woman and her two aunts initially hesitated to report the incident due to the sensitivity of her medical treatment, according to court documents.

Farmer's attorney, Stacey Roundtree, sought the delay in the trial because she needs more time to examine all of the evidence and testimony.

Roundtree said Farmer had a good reputation as an employee at Centennial Hills Hospital.

"Mr. Farmer has worked for years as a nurse without any problems whatsoever," Roundtree said.

Farmer has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is in custody at the Clark County Detention Center and his bail is set at $250,000.

Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or [email protected].

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