A 43 year-old registered nurse who worked for the Oregon State Hospital in Salem resigned after she was accused of sexually abusing a patient.
According to the Statesman Journal, a report by the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations (OAAPI) stated that RN Jennifer Barren and the patient “were caught on a security camera six times going into a linen closet that has no windows or cameras, for as many as seven minutes at a time. On every occasion, the patient left the room carrying a pile of towels at his waistline, and on one occasion, Barren came out with her tunic pulled above her waistline.” She is also accused of conversing with the same patient on the phone for over 100 hours.
Barren was also previously reprimanded by hospital officials for inappropriate “boundary issues” regarding the patient. Specifically, the nurse was observed repeatedly touching the patient, calling him nicknames, and accepting gifts from him.
Whether or not Barren faces criminal prosecution for her actions, she has betrayed her position of trust with the public. Mental health professionals are expected to treat the vulnerable patients who find themselves placed into the care of institutions like the Oregon State Hospital with respect and under the highest ethical standards.
This is the second OSH employee to be investigated recently for sexual abuse.
If you were abused by Jennifer Barren or if you know of someone else who has been abused by an OSH mental health worker, contact us at 503-306-0224 or email today.