Patient, 60, Says Nurse, 33, Forced Sex On Him

RN accused of "unsolicited" acts in hospital bed


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Nurse Sex Lawsuit

SEPTEMBER 17---A female nurse “initiated unsolicited sexual relations, including intercourse” with a hospitalized Illinois man who was awaiting a heart transplant, according to a lawsuit filed Monday against the woman and the hospital where her employment was later terminated.

In a Cook County Circuit Court complaint, retiree John Cantone, 60, accused Rachel Shaper of battery and alleged that the Advocate Christ Medical Center in suburban Chicago was negligent in supervising the 33-year-old registered nurse.

Cantone, whose wife Laura is co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, charges that Shaper, seen at right, “had a propensity to initiate unauthorized physical contact with patients.” The nurse, he added, “had attempted and/or succeeded” in initiating similar contact with other patients in her care.

According to the complaint, Cantone was in his hospital bed at 9 PM when Shaper entered Room 916 East and “initiated unsolicited sexual relations, including intercourse.” The October 12, 2012 encounter, Cantone claimed, occurred in the hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit, where he was awaiting a new heart.

At the time of the alleged sexual acts, Cantone (pictured below) was “medicated with various drugs and was under electronic monitoring,” according to the complaint.

Cantone’s lawsuit seeks in excess of $200,000 in damages. The complaint was filed about a month before the two-year statue of limitations on battery and negligence claims would have expired. 

Illinois state records reveal that Shaper was fired from the Oak Lawn hospital for “crossing professional boundaries with a patient.” Those Department of Professional and Financial Regulation documents do not further describe the nature of Shaper’s boundary crossing (or whether Cantone was the patient in question).

In January, Shaper was formally reprimanded by state officials for failing to report that she had been terminated by Advocate Christ Medical Center. At a disciplinary conference last year, Shaper admitted failing to disclose details of her termination.

In mitigation, Shaper’s lawyer argued that the nurse had cooperated with state officials and had “voluntarily completed a boundary course.” A state consent order includes the contention by Shaper that “no patient harm” resulted from her actions, and that she “has been licensed since 2009 without prior discipline.”

While the state reprimand goes on Shaper’s record, her license remains active, and is valid until May 2016. (8 pages)