- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - An 85-year-old woman says a hospital failed to protect her from being sexually assaulted by an employee while she was a patient last month, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.

She was among seven women police say were sexually assaulted by William Butler, who worked as a patient sitter at the Pittsburgh hospital. Butler, 32, has been fired and criminally charged.

The lawsuit, filed by the woman and her husband, says it seeks an unspecified amount of money for the hospital’s negligence. It alleges that Butler went into her room at UPMC Mercy hospital on July 3 and touched her genitals, then sanitized his hands and told her breakfast would arrive shortly.

When the woman reported the assault, a staff member asked her if she was sure it wasn’t a dream, the lawsuit says.

UPMC Mercy spokeswoman Susan Manko declined to comment on the litigation but said the hospital, part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is helping prosecutors and has established a task force to help protect patients.

Butler’s defense attorney, Michael DeRiso, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on Monday.

Police have said Butler, of West Mifflin, inappropriately touched the woman and six other female patients under the guise of doing medical procedures between June 28 and July 5. Butler was charged last month with indecent assault and aggravated indecent assault.

Butler would sometimes ask patients whether they had wet their beds before touching their genitals and told them he needed to adjust the leads on their heart monitors as he touched their chests, according to a criminal complaint.

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