Sheriff: Providence nursing assistant accused of sexually assaul - KPTV - FOX 12

Sheriff: Providence nursing assistant accused of sexually assaulting elderly patients

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Adeladilew Mekonen, jail booking photo Adeladilew Mekonen, jail booking photo
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A certified nursing assistant at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center is facing charges including rape involving elderly patients, according to deputies.

Adeladilew Mekonen, 34, was arrested Wednesday.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation after complaints were made by two elderly women who were recently patients at the hospital.

Investigators developed probable cause that Mekonen, a caregiver at the hospital, engaged in criminal conduct.

Mekonen has held his CNA license for about a year and a half, and has worked at Providence St. Vincent since May of this year. But his career came to a screeching halt after troubling accusations came to light.

“Recently two patients came forward to us with serious and troubling concerns about this employee,” says Nancy Roberts, chief operating officer at Providence St. Vincent.

Neighbors at Mekonen’s southeast Portland apartment complex are shocked and concerned.

“It’s very serious, especially with his wife and the condition that she’s in right now. She’s expecting a third child,” says Jeffrey Reed, neighbor.

Investigators say this isn’t the first time Mekonen has been accused of inappropriate conduct.

Back in June, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office says a 94-year-old woman, who was also a patient, accused the CNA of unwanted sexual contact. No charges have come out of that case at this point.

Mekonen was booked into the Washington County Jail on one count of first-degree rape and one count of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration.

His bail was set at $250,000.

The sheriff's office said Providence Health & Services cooperated fully with the investigation.

Detectives believe there could be additional victims.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective Robert Rookhuyzen at 503-846-2673.

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