Former nurse accused of sexually abusing patient - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Former nurse accused of sexually abusing patient

August 21, 2003

Albany-- A female Albany hospital patient says she was sexually assaulted by a male nurse.

Lt. Darryl Kennedy says, "She reported that he touched her in an inappropriate way."

The woman says it happened while she was a patient at Palmyra Hospital in Albany. The 78-year-old woman was recovering from surgery when she says the nurse fondled her. The nurse, 54-year-old Larry Atkins, is now charged with sexual battery. He's out of jail on bond and has been fired from his job.

54-year-old Larry Atkins is facing charges he sexually abused a woman while she was a patient at Palmyra Hospital in June. Lt. Darryl Kennedy says, "The victim reported to police that while she was a patient at Palmyra a male nurse entered her room as nurses do and touched her in an inappropriate way."

Sources say the victim thinks she was assaulted more than once, possibly while she was unconscious, recovering from surgery. However, the victim did not file a police report until a month later. Lt. Kennedy says, "No I sure don't know why but it's one of these things that people wait to report an incident like this for various reasons."

The victim has asked Albany attorney Jerry Brimberry to represent her. Brimberry would not go on camera at this time but says he will take on the case and says a lawsuit against the nurse and the hospital is pending.

A statement from Palmyra Hospital CEO Allen Golson reads: "We are aware of the allegations. We have investigated the alleged incident to the best of our abilities and took appropriate action. We are aware that there may be legal actions as a result of their allegations. Therefore it is inappropriate for us to discuss any further details at this time."

Golson says the hospital is cooperating with the investigation. Larry Atkins is out of the Dougherty County Jail on $1,000 bond.

The charge of sexual battery is a misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail.

Posted at 4:20 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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