An unnamed woman has accused a former Chargers player of sexually assaulting her in October of last year while she was under sedation at a UCSD hospital.
The 52-year-old woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California as well former NFL player and current free agent Kenny Okoro.
According to the complaint, the woman was admitted to UCSD's Thornton Hospital in La Jolla in October 2016 for an emergency tracheostomy in order to remove a cancerous mass in her throat.
Doctors performed the procedure on October 13. The surgery left her unable to speak and in great pain. She complained to doctors and nursing staff about the pain and demanded that doctors remove the tube. To prevent further injury, hospital staff assigned a sitter to the woman's room, a person who would be able to keep watch over her and alert nurses of any emergency.
On October 17, an elderly woman dressed in street clothes watched over her. The following day, the sitter was Okoro — who was hired as a senior nurse aid for UCSD after a brief stint as a defensive back in the NFL, including a three-month stint with the former San Diego Chargers.
On October 19, according to the lawsuit, the woman awoke heavily sedated to find Okoro sitting next to her, fondling her breasts and genitalia. She said she felt as if she had been raped. Okoro allegedly stood up and asked the woman if she was in pain. She reached for the nurse call button but it had been moved. She removed her IV and stumbled to the nurses’ station. She tried frantically to tell the nurses what had happened but the tracheostomy tube had rendered her speechless. She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote, "this guy molested me."
She demanded that the nurse call police. The nurse told Okoro to leave and took the woman back to her room. According to the lawsuit, the woman "continued to cry and attempt to speak, but the nurse ignored her voiceless pleas. The nurse saw her lips move, but did not try to decipher the words that she mouthed."
The nurse left and the woman called 911 from her cell phone. She was unable to speak and the operator hung up. She tried again with the same result.
She grabbed her things and wrote a note telling the nurses she was checking out and going to nearby Scripps La Jolla. Approximately 100 feet from the outside doors, guards approached her. One guard tackled her to get her to stop. A small knife was found inside her bag. Guards took her back to her room where she wrote the following notes:
- "That guy was molesting me. The nurse let him go. He probably [is] in somebody else's room. Call the Police. I can't talk."
- "I am starving to death. I need to eat."
- "That guy was touching me. Nurse doesn't believe me. Call the Police."
- “He molested me. Call the Police please. Nurse doesn't believe me. He's a sitter."
- "Please read this. The guy in my room was molesting me. I told nurse. She let him walk out. I begged her to call Police. She wouldn't help me. I tried to go to Scripps Hospital, then guys pushed me down in the parking lot and made me come back. I'M SCARED.”
- "That rapist is walking around probably in some other room. Please stop him. Please. I cannot talk. I need to call cops. Can you call them[?] PLEASE. I NEED TO EAT FOOD."
Yet, instead of listening to her pleas, hospital staff ordered her removed for mental evaluation at a psychiatric ward. She was discharged three days later, after doctors cleared her. She was taken to a subacute nursing facility in Golden Hill to recover.
On March 28 of this year, after recovering from chemotherapy, she filed a formal complaint with UCSD police.
Attorney Jessica Pride, who represents the woman, says her client "wants to see [Okoro] brought to justice for what he did and she would like UCSD to be held accountable for their negligence and their overall failure to ensure the safety of their patients."
UCSD police sergeant John Smart says a report was filed but no arrest has been made. Sergeant Smart also said he did not believe a rape test was ever conducted.