State health department investigating sexual assault of sedated patient by man receiving treatment for PCP use at Norwalk Hospital


The state Department of Public Health is investigating after a Stamford man, receiving treatment for PCP use, was recently charged with sexually assaulting a heavily sedated woman at Norwalk Hospital late last month.

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On Tuesday, a day after Rodney Daniels, 44, faced a judge on charges of first-degree sexual assault and making a false statement, a spokesperson for DPH said the department’s investigation was ongoing.

The extent of DPH’s investigation into the matter was unclear, but the department has purview over regulating hospitals.

Daniels remains in custody on $500,000 bail as he awaits an Oct. 26 court date.

In an arrest warrant affidavit, investigators noted that hospital staff took more than five hours to notify authorities about suspicions that Daniels had sexually assaulted the woman.

When asked about the delay, a hospital spokeswoman said she could not comment further, citing medical privacy laws.

The hospital’s president, Peter Cordeau, said in a written statement Monday: “Patient and staff safety are of paramount importance to us. We are cooperating fully with law enforcement on their investigation and also looking inward for improvements in our policies and procedures. As this is an ongoing police investigation, we will not be commenting further.”

According to the affidavit, hospital staff first learned of the sexual assault when remote monitoring of the victim showed an elevated heart rate. A nurse went to check on the victim and found Daniels in the victim’s bed touching her genitals, investigators wrote.

When medical staff talked to the victim, she appeared scared and confused. The doctor working in the emergency room at the time told investigators that the dose of sedative the victim received would make it difficult for her to use judgment or make logical decisions.

Investigators interviewed Daniels, who said he went into the victim’s room while he was on the way to the bathroom, sat at the end of her bed and had a conversation with her. He denied touching her, the affidavit read.

The investigators spoke to the victim who said the medication she received prevented her from speaking or moving.

The victim told investigators that she learned she had a “psychotic break” and was taken to the hospital, where she was given the sedative. She said that while on the drug, she felt like it was all a bad dream because she could not move or speak.

Investigators reviewed surveillance footage that showed Daniels repeatedly walking out of his room, once looking into the victim’s room, according to the affidavit. They wrote that Daniels was seen walking into the victims room twice between 3:23 a.m. and 3:35 a.m.

He is then seen being escorted out of the victim’s room by a nurse at 3:42 a.m., according to the affidavit.

Daniels, who has a lengthy criminal history, was listed by parole officials as a sexually violent predator, authorities said. When he was admitted to the hospital, he said he had smoked PCP and was hearing voices, according to the affidavit.

Daniels is currently serving probation for a second-degree larceny conviction.

Nicholas Rondinone can be reached at nrondinone@courant.com.

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