Mission Viejo, CA

Nurse sedated and then assaulted patient in California hospital

Josue Torres
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A former patient said Thursday that she is suing a nurse and a Mission Viejo hospital for an alleged assault that happened at the institution earlier this year.

Zoe Cooksey came up against Paul Alden Miller, a 56-year-old nurse arrested last month on suspicion of abusing three women at Providence Mission Hospital.

The alleged attack on Cooksey took place in March after the 22-year-old lady was taken to the hospital’s emergency department after a vehicle accident. Miller, she claims, assaulted her while inserting a catheter.

According to Cooksey's attorney Shawn Steel during the press conference, Miller reportedly gave the woman three injections of morphine for her discomfort, rendering her immobilized.

When she noticed something odd was going on, she texted her mother, who arrived within minutes. Meanwhile, according to the civil complaint, Miller assaulted Cooksey.

Steel said Cooksey then returned home, and as the medications wore off, she began to remember what had occurred. The next day, she notified authorities.

She said she felt weak, and explained how the man took advantage of her vulnerability, abusing his position of authority. 

The woman also said that during the pandemic, it’s when people rely the most on first responders, she expressed that Mission Hospital and Paul Miller totally failed her. 

This has been one of the most traumatic events of her life, and she’s not sure she’ll ever be the same, she said. 

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, a 68-year-old lady also reported being abused by Miller at the same place in April. 

Her complaint was followed in June by another, in which a 56-year-old woman accused Miller of assaulting her at Providence Hospital.

Miller, of San Clemente, was arrested on charges of elder abuse and violence on June 30. Later that day, he was freed on a $100,000 bond, according to authorities.

Authorities are looking for any other victims of Miller, who worked at Sharp Hospital in Chula Vista from December 2014 to May 2015.

Cooksey, of Costa Mesa, urged other victims to come forward as well.

She said she’s coming forward to give victims of assault a voice and to let others know that it is okay to speak up and share their stories.

According to a Providence Mission Hospital spokesperson, Miller was put on administrative leave when the Mission Viejo hospital heard about the initial incident, and he has not worked at the institution since.

According to the hospital, it is completely working with authorities and has zero tolerance for conduct that does not fit with its mission and values.

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