Nurse accused of raping patient arrested, charged with battery
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A male nurse remained behind bars Thursday after allegations he raped a patient at a local hospital led to his arrest.
David Lazarus, 42, has been a nurse at Broward Health Medical for more than five years. Police said Lazarus was in a position of trust, but he took advantage of it when he allegedly raped a patient while she was medically sedated.
The victim was left over-medicated and vulnerable, a judge said Thursday morning. "You offered to give her more medication, and just to summarize it, allegedly, you got her high on drugs while she was in the hospital," said Broward Circuit Court Judge John Hurley.
According to police reports, Lazarus had befriended the patient, who went to the hospital to be treated for kidney stones. Both would go outside and smoke cigarettes together. "He was getting to know her, he was being very friendly," said Fort Lauderdale Police Detective DeAnna Greenlaw.
Although the woman was not his patient, Lazarus allegedly began offering her drugs in exchange for sex. "He then took advantage of the situation; he took advantage of his position," said Greenlaw.
"He offered, allegedly on more than one occasion, to get her more medication," said Hurley. "He allegedly brought her morphine with syringes and gave it to her and gave her Oxycontin. Allegedly, she had told him that she had a drug problem in the past. She was in an altered state, and he was requiring her to be involved in sex acts."
Police said they have a telephone recording between Lazarus and the patient. "You were actually going into her room and requiring her to engage in sex acts while she was impaired by these drugs," said Hurley.
The wife of the accused, a neonatal nurse practitioner in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County, defended her husband of 12 years at the bond hearing.
Lebanon David: "Who has filed this complaint?"
Judge John Hurley: "The woman."
Lebanon David: "Who is supposed to be on drugs, like, has a history of drugs."
David said she does not believe her husband is guilty of anything. "He would not do that," she said. "I'm not in the right state of mind to say anything right now."
During the bond hearing, David insisted her husband would not supply the woman with drugs.
Judge John Hurley: "The defendant admitted to knowing her and wanting to pick her up to be with her. He also agreed to bring her something when she asked for drugs."
Lebanon David: "He would not do that."
Lazarus has been charged with two counts of sexual battery and one count of battery. He was originally being held at the Broward County Jail on a $50,000 bond for these charges, but he is now being held on no bond because of a 2010 case where he was accused of hitting a police officer at a Coconut Creek casino.
David, who attended the bond hearing, said she will be hiring an attorney to represent her husband.
Broward Health Medical officials said they were made aware of the allegations Thursday morning and are conducting an investigation. It is unclear whether Lazarus remains employed at the hospital.
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