Two women who police say were sexually assaulted and filmed by a nurse while they were unconscious at a Colorado intensive care unit are suing the hospital.
Christopher Lambros sexually assaulted the two women suing the hospital system while they were both unconscious and under his care at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Mesa County District Court.
The hospital, part of SCL Health, failed to properly supervise Lambros or stop his misconduct, the lawsuit alleges.
Lambros, 61, is currently charged with sexually assaulting two victims, but prosecutors advised the court at a recent bond hearing that investigators believe there were four unique victims, of which three have been identified, Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said in an emailed statement. The criminal case against Lambros remains open.
But the lawsuit alleges there could be hundreds of victims. Law enforcement officials have recovered four terabytes of sexually explicit data on Lambros’ digital devices dating back to 2016, according to the lawsuit. That’s about 700,000 photos or 65,000 hours of cellphone video, the suit states.
“The sheer volume of data tells us that there are a lot of victims out there and a lot of them don’t know what happened to them,” said Siddhartha Rathod of Rathod Mohamedbahi Law, which is representing the two women. “It’s the hospital’s duty to inform the victims.”
Lambros assaulted one of the women, identified as M.C. in the lawsuit, on July 9 while she was unconscious in the intensive care unit, according to the lawsuit. He then used his phone to take photos and videos of himself assaulting her, the lawsuit alleges.
Another employee walked into the hospital room while Lambros had his phone out and M.C.’s genitals were uncovered, according to Lambros’ arrest affidavit. The employee then reported the incident to her supervisor and the hospital notified law enforcement.
An officer found Lambros at his home later that day and asked about the incident. Lambros said the patient was uncovered because he was giving her an injection in her stomach for blood clots. He denied taking any photos, but the officer seized his phone and booked it into evidence. A forensic analysis of the phone found photographs and videos of Lambros posing with naked patients and sexually assaulting them, according to his arrest affidavit.
Hospital staff notified M.C.’s husband about Lambros’ alleged assault on July 12 and he told his wife a few days later.
“She didn’t believe me at first until I provided her the police report that I obtained,” her husband said. The Denver Post is not identifying M.C. or her husband because she is a victim of sexual assault. “At that point, she was pretty upset and it only got worse over the course of the next couple days.”
M.C. tries not to think about the assault but it’s impossible to block it from her mind, she told The Post. She’s on a rollercoaster of emotions every day, she said.
Lambros assaulted one of the women, identified as J.V. in the lawsuit, on June 24 and June 25 while she was in the intensive care unit, according to the suit. Lambros used his cellphone to take photos and videos of him assaulting J.V., according to the lawsuit and police documents.
J.V., who The Post also is not identifying, regained consciousness on July 2 and was released from the hospital on July 7. She wasn’t notified by the hospital that she had been assaulted until months later.
She continues to pay $905 a month to cover the $32,000 medical bill she incurred while at the hospital.
“I’m still processing it,” she said. “I have eight days of my life where I have no idea.”
Both women now experience extreme anxiety when going to the doctor, they said. M.C. gets sick to her stomach when she has to go get care, she said.
“They had a pledge to do no harm,” J.V. said.
The hospital placed Lambros on administrative leave on July 9 when the incident was reported and fired him on Oct. 25 when he was arrested, according to a statement.
“What this former nurse is accused of is reprehensible and goes against everything we believe and value at St. Mary’s Medical Center,” said Bryan Johnson, President of St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Patients put their trust in us and should feel safe in our care. We are working closely with law enforcement to protect our patients from those who intend to cause harm. We are doing everything possible to ensure our patients continue to feel safe and respected while receiving care at St. Mary’s Medical Center.”
The hospital assigned Lambros to care for the two vulnerable women and failed to properly supervise him, Rathod said.
“When you’re in the most vulnerable position — you can’t speak, you’re ventilated, you can’t defend yourself, you can’t advocate for yourself — the loss of trust that you know your body was violated… that loss of trust is very real,” Rathod said.
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