Woman sues Mission Viejo nurse, hospital over alleged sexual assault

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- A woman is speaking out about the alleged sexual assault she says she experienced while being treated at Mission Providence Hospital in Mission Viejo.

"On March 31st, I was sexually assaulted by a nurse, Paul Miller, at Mission Hospital. I was there for injuries stemming from a car accident. I was vulnerable and he took advantage of me and his position of authority," said Zoe Cooksey.

Paul Alden Miller, 56, of San Clemente was arrested on June 30, accused of sexually assaulting three women. Miller was a nurse at Mission hospital for six years.

Cooksey with her attorney have filed a civil lawsuit against Miller and the hospital. The lawsuit alleges Miller took Cooksey to a private emergency room after she was seen by a doctor, then drugged her with morphine and assaulted her.

"She was able to text to her mother 'Help me... something is going on here. I'm not sure what it is.' Her mother showed up within 10 minutes," said attorney Shawn Steel.

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Cooksey's mother snapped a photo of her daughter in the private room after she arrived. It shows the 22-year-old covered with a blanket and sedated. Cooksey's attorney says she reported the alleged assault the next day once the morphine she was given had worn off.

"We want to know what the hospital knew about this individual and when they knew it," said Steel.

Cooksey's lawsuit alleges the hospital did not take immediate action and knew about Miller's behavior.

"For some reason, the hospital seems to have taken no action despite their public statement and two other women were subsequently assaulted," said Steel.

In April, a 68-year-old woman reported she'd been assaulted by Miller, and in June, a 56-year-old woman reported a similar assault.

"If Paul Miller assaulted you, I invite you to be brave and stand with me and together we will hold him accountable for what he did and what this hospital allowed him to do to each of us," said Cooksey.

Mission Hospital denies it did not take immediate action. A statement reads in part:

"While the sequence of events reported by O.C. Sheriff may reflect when the incidents occurred, it doesn't accurately reflect when the incidents were reported to the hospital and therefore when the caregiver was placed on leave."

Miller is out on a $100,000 bond. He is due in court in September when he'll be arraigned on seven counts of sexual battery and sexual elder abuse.

Investigators are concerned there may have been additional alleged victims.

Miller worked at Providence Mission Hospital from January 2017 to April 2021. He previously worked at El Centro Regional Medical Center from January 2016 to January 2017. He worked at Sharp Hospital in Chula Vista from December 2014 to May 2015.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (714) 647-7419 or submit an anonymous tip to OC Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227).

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