Broomfield nursing assistant Antonio Nieto formally charged with sex assault on two patients

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - A nursing assistant accused of sexually assaulting two women at a Broomfield nursing home where he worked has been criminally charged.

Prosecutors have charged 41-year-old Antonio Nieto with two counts of sexual assault on an at-risk adult and four counts of sexual assault at Broomfield Skilled Nursing.

Broomfield Police arrested Antonio Nieto on Thursday.

"I believe there were two patients, two female patients.  One I believe was age 59 and the other was age 73," said Broomfield Police Sgt. Steven Griebel on Friday.

Arrest affidavits obtained by 7NEWS show the first victim reported the allegations to an employee at North Suburban Hospital in July.  The woman said a male nurse, whom she later identified as Nieto, fondled her breasts and got in bed behind her and forced her to have sex on or around July 13th.  The affidavit shows the woman was taking several medications including Oxycodone, Vicodin and Ativan and at the time of the incident, tried to push Nieto off of her but didn't have the strength.

When Police showed up to Broomfield Skilled Nursing on July 23rd, the affidavit shows Nurse Administrator Jamey Dougherty told police he was aware of the allegation and indicated he would cooperate with the investigation by obtaining nursing notes and work schedules.

Police say he also told them the reporting woman was a difficult patient who was extremely upset with the nursing center because they would only allow her to smoke at certain times.  Antonio Nieto was put on leave.

The affidavits show that on August 15, 2013, police were again called to Broomfield Skilled Nursing on a report of a sexual assault involving Nieto.  The female patient told police Nieto put something inside her as she was holding the "grab bar" in the bathroom the night before.  Police note in the document they were unaware Nieto had been allowed back to work.

The documents show Administrator Dougherty told police they had completed their internal investigation and allowed him to return to work because they felt the first accusations were unfounded.

Police pressed Nieto for informaion and said eventually admitted to committing both sexual assault because "it turned him on"

Broomfield Skilled Nursing twice declined to answer questions and asked our reporters to leave their property.

The facility issued a statement, in part, that family and authorities were notified in a timely manner.

"I just found out about 5 minutes ago," said Lynn Gallagher whose husband lives in the Nursing Home.

Gallagher said she just heard about the case but was given very few details.

"I didn’t know it was sexual, they just said it was assault," Gallagher said.

It's unknown whether the facility checked Nieto's background before hiring him in January, however 7NEWS has learned the state found the facility failed to check references in the past before hiring as recently as June.

Nieto was being held Tuesday, with bond set at $100,000. He is due in court Thursday to be advised of the charges.

It wasn't known if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations on his behalf.

7NEWS contacted Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment which oversees nursing facilities.  They refused multiple requests for an interview but said they were aware of the allegations.  CDPHE said the Broomfield Skilled Nursing self-reported the allegations on August 15th, almost a month after learning of the first allegation.

CDPHE reports it has launched an investigation to determine if there have been other potential violations.

Police said there may be more victims and asked family members to be on alert.

"If something doesn’t seem right talking to the patients there, don’t dismiss it and bring it to our attention," Griebel said.

If anyone has any information pertaining to these cases or other related crimes, contact Detective Dale Hammell at 303-464-7533.