'Took it too far’: Lawsuit claims now dead Mayo Clinic employee sexually assaulted two incapacitated patients
PHOENIX - A lawsuit has been filed against a hospital recognized as No. 1 in the nation as two women have come forward, accusing a former Mayo Clinic radiology technician of sexual assault in Phoenix.
The alleged victims want the hospital to be held accountable, and they are speaking out, hoping to have their voices heard.
In the lawsuit, there are serious allegations and claims that Mayo Clinic could have prevented all of this.
There are two sexual assault cases brought up in this lawsuit against the medical giant. The identities of the victims are sealed, and some details may be graphic for some viewers.
The Phoenix Police Department investigated both incidents, but there's a catch. The employee named as the suspect will never face charges related to the alleged sexual assault at Mayo Clinic’s Phoenix campus.
According to the recently filed civil lawsuit, victim one and victim two referred to as Jane Doe and Mary Roe, were both incapacitated in the emergency room just six months apart, unable to speak or move.
"A lot of people have those dreams where, like, you're in danger, you're trying to get someone, you can't," Jane said. "If the room was bright and people were talking, I could hear some things and understand, so I knew I was going for a CT scan," Mary said.
For both women, different medical episodes brought them to Mayo Clinic. Both say they were left alone with radiology technician Jordan Baker.
'He hurt me so bad that I continued to hurt'
On June 25, 2021, Jane says she was undergoing an X-ray when the unthinkable happened.
"When we were alone between doing his job, he sexually assaulted me. He hurt me, and then he hurt me so bad that I continued to hurt," Jane said. According to the complaint, she finally cried out and moved her arm before Baker stopped the assault and took Jane back to her room.
Alicia Funkhouser is the lawyer representing the alleged victims.
"I think what is most shocking about this case is how the first victim was handled by the Mayo Clinic. She either wasn't believed or wasn't taken seriously," Funkhouser said.
Jane says the nurse she reported the sex assault to did not take her seriously at all.
"She leaned over me, touched my chest because my husband was on my right, to tell us that he was homosexual so I wasn't his type," Jane explained.
Funkhouser says that very response was in a way, demeaning.
"She was, in a sense, belittled about it. You know? That she was made to feel almost, 'Oh, honey, that couldn't have happened,' response," the lawyer said.
After several hours, Jane’s report was taken by a supervisor. The next day, she called Phoenix Police, providing an officer with more details, claiming she had been fondled, violated and abused.
By July 6, Mayo Clinic’s risk management sent Jane a letter, saying the internal investigation was complete and that they placed Baker on three days of administrative leave.
Why did Mayo Clinic quickly complete and close this case? An internal investigation, they called it, and just give him three administrative days of leave?
"Well, I think it's important to know that the first victim reported her assault right when it happened. It was a Friday so if he was on administrative leave for three days, that was Saturday, Sunday and Monday. She tells me that the corporate investigation wouldn't have even started until a weekday, so I'm not sure they even did a full three days of investigating before they put him back on the floor," Funkhouser says.
The Phoenix Police report reveals a follow-up with a Mayo Clinic senior risk analyst. When asked why staff never contacted authorities after the alleged sex assault, Mayo Clinic said the patient is usually asked if they want the police called or not.
Jane says she was never given the option. The mandated reporter said nothing, it seems.
The lawsuit claims Mayo Clinic didn't report the alleged assault, either.
"They said nothing to the police, to the people that matter," Funkhouser said. Ultimately, Phoenix Police closed the case due to "insufficient evidence."
Jane never received a forensic exam so that DNA evidence could be collected and Baker had denied the allegations against him to investigators.
For the next several months, Jane says she struggled.
"I just had to accept that this man knew what I looked like and I didn't know what he looked like. He could be the person next to me," she said.
'I knew this was not right'
On December 29, 2021, victim two, Mary, says she was in the care of Baker getting a CT scan when the assault happened.
"It was definitely more of a sexual touch and inappropriate touch. Then he would stop, and I think that's when I would calm down, maybe go, you know, more in a relaxed state, and then he would start again. Then when he started again, I knew I was in trouble. I knew this was not right," Mary said,
Draped in a hospital gown, Mary laid on a bed in a room she remembers as cold and dark, fighting from inside her own body.
"I was trying to scream. I remember trying, but I couldn't," she said, trying to describe the feeling of not being able to scream, "There's no … it's a helpless … and then he stopped again. He took it too far."
Then she says she mustered a word.
"At that point, I was able to yell out to stop. I remember trying to push or hit. At that point, I did everything in my power to try to open my eyes and to stay awake," Mary said. She reported the incident to a nurse and demanded to speak to the police immediately.
She also had a rape kit exam completed.
"We're at Mayo Clinic. We purposely changed hospitals, so we could be in the Mayo Clinic system because we wanted to be with the best," Mary said.
Case takes a major turn
On Jan. 12 of this year, Phoenix Police detained Baker and brought him to the Mountain View precinct for questioning and a DNA sample. Police say he denied touching Mary.
Detectives had a court order ready to obtain Baker’s DNA, and they did. Then, he was told a lie detector test would be scheduled.
The next day, the investigation changed completely.
Mesa Police found Baker dead at his home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities say Baker had texted a family member, making suicidal statements, and sent them money for funeral arrangements.
The medical examiner has since ruled his manner of death a suicide.
"It is my strong belief that he did so because he knew he was going to be held accountable," Funkhouser said.
In an email, Phoenix Police say due to Baker's death, the request for the DNA sample to be tested was withdrawn and Mary's case was closed.
'There's no doubt in my mind that there's more victims'
The lawsuit accuses Mayo Clinic of negligent supervision and retention.
"Both husbands were in the emergency room with their wives. A simple policy that says invite the spouse, the caregiver, the person that's there with the hospital and the emergency room to the scan to attend would have prevented this," Funkhouser said.
In a statement from Mayo Clinic, a spokesman says, "Mayo Clinic is committed to providing a safe and healing environment for patients. When these incidents were reported, they were promptly investigated. Mayo Clinic fully cooperated with law enforcement in this matter. Out of respect for the privacy of all those involved, we will not comment on the recently filed legal action."
Jane and Mary believe they are not the only victims.
"There's six months between my assault and the first victim's complaint. There's no doubt in my mind that there's more victims," Mary said.
What is life like now after having this happen?
"You know, not great. I am in consistent therapy. I have trouble touching people or letting them touch me. I'm nervous. I can't even get my hair done because someone would have to lean over my head, Jordan has gripped on my forehead, so I can't … can't handle that," Jane said.
Life isn't easy for Mary after this, either.
"I relive what he did to me in my nightmares, and I don't have control of my unconscious thoughts," she said.
FOX 10 followed up with Phoenix Police regarding protocol to close a case due to a death and withdraw a DNA test request. The response was that case is "unique" and in this situation, and there was only one suspect, Jordan Baker, so this test will not happen.
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