A patient who says an emergency room technician fondled his genitals while he was sedated at Palm Springs Hospital sued the hospital Tuesday for $5 million, saying it is responsible for patient security.
Hialeah police say ER technician Rene Martinez, 53, grabbed the patient's genitals in September while he was under sedation and being treated for back pain, in what police say was an assault captured on cell phone video.
Martinez, who is not named in the civil lawsuit, has already been charged in the incident.
“He put his hand on my boxers," the patient said Tuesday. "He grabbed my private part, and he started playing with it and squeezing it."
Hialeah police say Martinez left the room, came back in and grabbed the patient's penis again.
"He was saying I could make money from one of his friends by showing my private parts," the patient said.
Unbeknownst to Martinez, the patient was aware enough to turn on his cell phone camera and record both incidents. The video was turned over to police, and Martinez was arrested and charged with two counts of simple battery and two counts of an unnatural and lascivious act.
The patient's lawyer Jeffrey Herman called the incident "bizarre."
“We also believe this is not the first time,” Herman said. “The violations are ongoing.”
NBC 6's Hank Tester went to Martinez's home to ask for a comment Tuesday, but his son became upset and called police.
"We are going to fight this," Martinez's lawyer Sabino Jauregui said. "The video doesn't tell the whole story. The victim is a convicted felon who has been arrested 15 times. We believe the action might have been consensual."
NBC 6 has not been able to independently confirm the arrests Jauregui said the plaintiff has had.
Palm Springs Hospital administration told NBC 6 that they have not been served with a copy of the lawsuit and have no further comment to make on the case.