Trial begins for Victoria care aide accused of sexually abusing patients
Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:32PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2019 4:52PM PDT
The trial for a care aide accused of sexually abusing patients with a variety of disabilities has begun in Victoria.
Amado Ceniza faces six charges, including sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a person with a disability. The charges are related to incidents which police say happened at Aberdeen hospital on Hillside Avenue.
Court documents show the alleged abuse took place at the care facility between July 1 and July 15 of 2018.
In court Ceniza looked uncomfortable and stressed as his proceedings began.
One of the first witnesses to take the stand was a hospital staff member connected to the facility which caters to seniors and patients with a wide range of disabilities.
The worker told the court in mid-July of last year a patient asked to speak with them. The witness then recounted a meeting in the patients room where they were told that a care aide was allegedly abusing the patient.
Moments after the first woman told the staff member about her alleged sexual abuse, another woman who shared the double occupancy room lodged a near identical claim of abuse against the care aide.
The patients, whose names are protected by a court ordered publication ban, told the hospital staffer that the accused placed cream on his hands and proceeded to fondle their pelvic region and breasts.
Police were called and began their investigation on July 17, according to the witness. Shortly after police became involved the staff member told the court another patient came forward claiming they were also a victim.
On July 19 last summer CTV News Vancouver Island first reported on an investigation launched at the Victoria care facility.
In the days which followed police and Vancouver Island’s health authority slowly released details of the shocking allegations.
Ceniza, who was 39 at the time, was suspended as a registered care aide after provincial authorities became aware of the allegations of sexual abuse.
Victoria’s court registry tells CTV News the trial is scheduled to run until Thursday.