handcuffs

A Luzerne County man who was a patient in Washington Hospital earlier this month had contact of a sexual nature with another patient in their behavioral health unit, according to testimony Monday during a preliminary hearing.

Kaseen James Johnson, 27, of Wilkes-Barre, was ordered held for court by District Judge Robert Redlinger on charges of indecent assault on a person with a mental disability and indecent exposure.

Brandon Hartzell, who gave his job title as “care partner,” which is similar to that of a nursing assistant, testified he monitored a live video feed at approximately 4 a.m. Aug. 16 of a man making thrusting motions atop a sleeping female patient.

Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Kevin Scheibel, Hartzell identified Johnson as the culprit who was naked below the waist.

Johnson’s attorney, Kristin Fiori, asked Hartzell if he summoned help, but Hartzell said as soon aswhat he had observed registered with him, he intervened.

Hartzell said when he entered the woman’s room, Johnson said from a corner, “I’m sorry. I thought this was my room.”

The health care worker testified he checked on patients every 15 minutes, and the last time he saw Johnson, he was asleep in his own room at the facility at 155 Wilson Ave.

The female patient, who was covered by a blanket, was neither awake nor alert before, during or after the incident, according to testimony.

Johnson was brought to the hearing from the Washington County jail, where he is being held under $10,000 bond.

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