Fil Am Nurse Not Guilty Of Charges

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (JGL) – A 41-year-old male Filipino American nurse was found not guilty of all the ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery, abuse and criminal neglect of his handicapped patient that took place between July and August 2013 in the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) in Chicago, Illinois.
Judge Maura Slattery Boyle of the Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago found Dioscoro “Roy” D. Flores, a naturalized US citizen, not guilty during a bench trial held last Jan. 12.

Flores was charged with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a handicapped by placing his hand on the sex organ of Adam Wicklund, a war veteran quadriplegic, “for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of Flores or his victim by the use of force or threat of force or being handicapped” between July 1 Aug. 6, 2013 in the RIC at 345 E. Superior St. Chicago.

For the same period, Flores was also charged with two counts of aggravated battery for knowingly making “physical contact or an insulting or provoking nature with Wicklund” when Flores placed his hand on Wicklund’s sex organ.

Flores was also charged with two counts of abuse or criminal neglect of a long-term care facility resident when he committed the aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

He was also charged with a pair of abuse or criminal neglect of a long-term care facility resident when he “recklessly performed acts that caused a long-term care facility resident‘s pre-existing physical or mental condition to deteriorate or that created substantial likelihood that a person with a disability’s pre-existing physical condition to deteriorate” when Flores rubbed Wicklund’s sex organ.

Flores was arrested on Oct. 9, 2013 and was released in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

Flores could not be reached for comment by this reporter.

In a press statement by his supporters, it was disclosed that the case was closely monitored and supported by the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D. C., the Philippine Consulate General Chicago, and the Philippine Nurses Association of America Illinois Chapter and other professional groups. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Hospital has supported and defended Roy by placing Roy on vacation with pay while the case was on going.

TRIAL AND OVERWHELMING COMMUNITY SUPPORT

“The long agonizing wait for the truth to prevail and for justice to be served was an unbelievable experience that I could not imagine I will survive. Aside from my strong faith to God, I was able to sustain this horrible ordeal because of the overwhelming help, love, support, and storms of prayers from my family, friends, classmates, teachers, colleagues, and even total strangers who without a doubt came to my rescue,” according to Roy.

The case was brought to the attention of Isabel Juan, Ph.D., consultant, and President of Rizal Travel Center Inc.  Isabel collaborated with and formed Friends of Roy Flores Defense Fund with Gilda B. Small and Grace A. Villamora.  Isabel took the matter to Filipino American lawyer, Loida Nicolas Lewis, a prominent businesswoman, and civic leader.

The philanthropic duo, Isabel and Loida, disclosed the matter to Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Ambassador of the Philippines to U. S.  “This man is innocent as I have interviewed him for two hours while I was in Chicago,“ Loida informed Ambassador Cuisia.  The Ambassador advised Philippine Consulate Chicago officers and staff to monitor the case.  Deputy Consul Romulo Israel, Jr. attended the hearing.

Friends of Roy Defense Fund organized a two-day concert by Raul Sunico, PhD., world-renowned pianist, President of the Philippine Cultural Center, and Dean of UST Conservatory of Music, among others.  Raul found the time from his concerts in the East Coast to fly to Chicago to hold a recital at the Chicago residence of Isabel Juan.  “I am happy for the successful result of this case. Best of luck in your return to normal life, Roy,” emailed Raul upon receiving the news in Manila.

NEW LAWYER TOOK OVER THE CASE

Daniel H. Wolff, a veteran Chicago lawyer took over the case from another Chicago lawyer Edward J. Austin, in the middle of the trial.  “Attorney Wolff is a seasoned veteran of the courtroom with the ability to present aggressive, cogent defense for me. I thank God for having found him to take on my case assigned to Judge Paul Biebel, Jr.,” Roy disclosed.

The Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) Chicago Chapter spearheaded by its President Alma Jaromahum, rallied for full attendance at court hearings and passed the hat around for additional legal funds.

“The acquittal has a huge impact to all the Filipino nurses in the U. S. for justice was served and the truth came out.  We should not be afraid to speak up.  There is a legal department at PNAA that could provide assistance to nurses on this kind of issue. Healthcare professionals should effectively document report cases of any kind through charting, communication of care and referrals, ” said Ms. Jaromahum.

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