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article imageHospital rape victim: 'I don't even know who I am anymore'

By Salim Jiwa     Nov 14, 2009 in Crime
A 32-year-old laboratory technician working for Mission Hospital, in Mission Viejo, California, has been convicted and sentenced for raping an incapacitated woman in her room.
NEWPORT BEACH, California – “At times, I don’t even know who I am anymore,” said a heartbreaking letter from a woman who was raped in a hospital in Mission Viejo in California.
The letter was part of the victim impact statement read out in court on Friday as Jesse Karim Pena, 32, an emergency medical technician, was convicted of raping her in her hospital room at Mission Hospital.
Pena, 32, of Winchester, pleaded guilty to one felony count of rape of an intoxicated person. He was sentenced to three years in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.
At approximately 12:00 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2009, the 31-year-old woman was taken in an ambulance to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, according to the Orange Country District Attorney's office.
While on-duty as an EMT, Pena logged himself into the victim’s hospital room while she was alone and unable to resist due to intoxication, said a statement from the DA's office.
He then raped the victim and left. The woman reported the rape to hospital personnel, who called 9-1-1.
DNA found on the victim’s hospital gown linked Pena to the crime, said the press release.
Pena was arrested at a family member’s home in Ontario, California on June 25.
At the time of the rape, Pena was an independent contractor EMT who may also have worked at other hospitals in Orange County and the San Diego area.
During the sentencing Friday, a letter was submitted to the court by the victim, who explained that the sexual assault committed against her by Pena has made coping with daily life more difficult.
She asked, “How do [rape victims] do it? At times I don’t even know who I am anymore.”
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