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Man accused of molesting medicated patients

February 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
He was supposed to be helping those in need. Instead, Narciso Romanes Blando was targeting some of the most vulnerable patients at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, according to authorities.

The 47-year-old is accused of molesting at least three female patients in their 50s while they were under pain medication at the hospital, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Jim Amormino. The crimes allegedly occurred earlier this week during Blando's shift as a patient care assistant.

In the first case, Blando faces charges of sexually assaulting the victim.

"It began with him rubbing some cream on her ankles for some pain. He then moved his hands up leg and touched her between her legs." Amormino said.

In the other two cases, now under review by the District Attorney, Blando is accused of kissing the women and stroking their hair as they slept. Both victims awoke and alerted hospital staff.

In a statement, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center said: "We are fully committed to ensuring the health, safety and well being of our patients. The employee in question was immediately suspended pending the outcome of the investigation."

The hospital says it's working closely with authorities as investigators try to figure out if Blando targeted any other women.

"He had access to a number of patients and in cases like this, there is a possibility there are additional victims," Amormino said.

As of Thursday night, Blando was behind bars and held without bail. Anyone with information on Blando is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (714) 628-7170.

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