|NEWARK – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that the State Board of Nursing has temporarily suspended the license of a registered nurse charged with several counts of sexual assault, criminal sexual conduct, and lewdness in connection with two alleged patient assaults at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where the nurse had been working.
Wilber Hernandez, a 29-year-old Perth Amboy resident, was arrested by the New Brunswick Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office on July 13, 2017, and charged with one count of sexual assault-force/coercion, no personal injury; two counts of criminal sexual contact; and one count of lewdness observed by others.
The first incident allegedly involves a 49-year-old female patient at the hospital and occurred on October 13, 2016. The second allegedly involves a 74-year-old female patient and allegedly occurred in the hospital emergency room, where Hernandez had been working, on June 29, 2017.
Hernandez signed an interim consent order of voluntary surrender to be deemed a temporary suspension of his license on July 18, which was filed on July 19. The charges, if proven, would provide a basis for the Board to suspend or revoke his license, because convictions on such charges relate adversely to the activities of nurses as regulated by the Board of Nursing.
“Nurses have a moral and professional obligation to conduct themselves professionally when caring for their patients. Sexual assault is one of the most egregious violations of that obligation,” said Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino. “When dealing with an alleged crime of this severity, immediate license suspension is an appropriate outcome to protect the public.”
“The integrity of the nursing profession must not be compromised by those that are trusted with the care of vulnerable patients,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Those who commit crimes of physical or sexual abuse must be removed promptly from the nursing profession.”
Under the terms of the consent order, Hernandez cannot practice, identify himself, or be employed as a nurse. He also must surrender all copies of his license to the Board of Nursing.
The suspension of his license is temporary, pending the outcome of the charges against him. The Board of Nursing may take further disciplinary action after the disposition of the criminal charges. The surrender of his license is not considered an admission of liability.
The Board of Nursing is charged with regulating nursing and homemaker-home health aide services in the State of New Jersey, and making sure those who practice these professions are qualified and competent to do so.
Hernandez had worked at several other hospitals and medical centers in New Jersey, including the Jersey City Medical Hospital, Hackensack Regional Medical Center, St. Josephs Regional Medical Center in Paterson, Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick and Maxim Healthcare Services in North Brunswick, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The prosecutor’s office also said the investigation is active and continuing and asked anyone with further information on these incidents or others to call Detective Oscar Ayala of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3600.
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