Lawsuit: Nursing assistant given positive review despite sexual - KPTV - FOX 12

Lawsuit: Nursing assistant given positive review despite sexual abuse accusations

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A new lawsuit states that a nursing assistant accused of sexually assaulting his elderly patients was given a great job review despite his employer knowing about the accusations.

Adeladilew Mekonen was accused of sexual abuse multiple times at West Hills Health & Rehabilitation Center. Despite those reports, the center gave Mekonen a great reference.

Lawyers say thanks to that review, Mekonen was able to get a job as a nursing assistant at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, where Mekonen admitted to raping an 89-year-old woman and sexually abusing a 94-year-old woman, both patients. 

Mekonen is now serving a 25-year sentence for sexually abusing elderly women.

Lawyers now argue that cases of sexual abuse at Providence could have been avoided, with a simple warning from Mekonen’s previous employer.

According to the lawsuit, for a year and a half West Hills Health allowed Mekonen to have access to elderly women, despite complaints of sexual assault and rape.

FOX 12 spoke with the daughter of one of Mekonen’s alleged victims. Madison said her mother was sexually assaulted by Mekonen when she was a patient at Providence.

"Just by even looking at her, she just seems exhausted because she can barely sleep. I can just tell that she's scared because it might happen again, who knows," said Madison.

FOX 12 did receive a statement from West Hills Health, they call the allegations false, misleading and without merit. They go on to say they're confident that they have complied with applicable laws and reporting requirements, and have followed proper procedures.

West Hills Health says they will vigorously defend themselves against all allegations.

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