Patient molested at Fairview

Sarah McKenzie

University Police arrested a 36-year-old Minneapolis man Sunday in connection with a sexual assault at Fairview-University Medical Center.
The suspect allegedly molested a female patient Friday afternoon in the children’s unit located on the fifth floor of the hospital, police said.
According to police reports, the victim’s mother reported the incident to police at 2:30 p.m., about one hour after the suspect allegedly assaulted the girl.
University Police Sgt. Jo Anne Benson declined to release the victim’s age, but said she was under 18. She said “inappropriate touching” occurred, but would not comment on the specific nature of the assault.
Hospital officials recognized the suspect when he returned to the hospital’s lobby two days later and alerted the police, Benson said. He was arrested at 8:53 p.m.
The suspect is not affiliated with the University and is not an employee of the hospital.
Jean Tracy, a spokeswoman for the medical center, said the patient is still being treated at the hospital. She would not comment on the victim’s condition or whether she sustained injuries during the assault.
“We take this very seriously,” Tracy said. “Our first priority is the patient’s well-being.”
Benson said investigators were still conducting interviews Tuesday. Witnesses were in the room during the alleged assault, she added.
The case has been forwarded to Hennepin County prosecutors, but the attorneys requested more information, she said.
According to Hennepin County jail records, the suspect was released from police custody Tuesday evening because formal criminal charges had not been issued.
This is the second sexual assault reported at the hospital in three months.
On May 27, University police arrested a 31-year-old hospital nurse for allegedly raping a female patient in the medical center’s emergency room.
Investigators forwarded the case to the Hennepin County attorney’s office in June. Benson said prosecutors declined to file a criminal complaint against the male nurse.