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October 23, 2014

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Centennial Hills settles civil suit with woman alleging she was raped at hospital

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Steven Farmer

A woman alleging a nursing assistant raped her in 2008 has settled a civil lawsuit against Centennial Hills Hospital out of court.

The case was set to go to trial Monday in Clark County District Court, but a settlement was reached Friday.

The woman’s attorney, Neal Hyman said the settlement was confidential.

The lawsuit is tied to a pending criminal case against Steven Farmer, 61, who is accused of sexually assaulting six women while he was employed at Centennial Hills and Rawson-Neal Psychiatric hospitals.

The woman’s suit against Valley Health Systems and its Centennial Hills Hospital argued Farmer’s past should have startled anyone thinking about hiring him. Court documents don’t detail what that past entails, nor would the woman’s lawyers discuss what they’ve learned.

Further, the suit alleged, the hospital’s lack of policies or improper enforcement of policies created a situation that allowed Farmer to take advantage of her.

The criminal case against Farmer, who faces several counts related to sexual abuse, is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 3, 2014.

The plaintiff’s incident occurred May 15-16, 2008, when she went to the Centennial Hills emergency room for her epilepsy, according to court documents.

The assault happened when Famer transported the plaintiff to her room after helping a nurse care for her in the emergency room, according to court records.

Initially, Farmer’s attentiveness impressed the plaintiff, so much so that she planned to write a positive review of Farmer and the nurse, she testified during a preliminary hearing for the criminal case.

However, Farmer’s demeanor transformed when he wheeled the woman into an elevator, she testified.

He kept adjusting her blankets, his hands lingering too close to intimate areas. He kept saying she should be sleepy from the medication, she testified.

She remembers the hospital floor looking deserted when they got off the elevator.

“There was no one there to receive me. So I didn’t know if anyone even knew I was in the room,” she testified, saying she thought about screaming but didn’t. “I thought, 'No one was even on the floor when I got out. Are they going to hear me? Is he going to kill me?'”

In that room, a chuckling, giggling Farmer raped her, the patient testified.

“I was just thinking someone was going to show up, someone was going to show up, someone was going to show up,” she said.

At other hospitals, she said, someone else always had been there to check vitals, go over her chart, etc.

When Farmer left, he stressed that his shift was almost over and that he would be back, the patient said.

When a nurse did show up, the patient said she remembered the nurse saying, “Oh, you’re here.”

Hysterical, the patient begged not be left alone and demanded to see the police and a hospital supervisor at once.

The patient testified that a “lady from the hospital” came into her room and said, “Let’s concentrate on you getting better.”

The hospital attendant told the patient the hospital released Farmer and told him he wasn’t allowed on the property.

“What? What do you mean?” the patient said.

Finally, the woman’s husband called and got the police involved, according to court records.

Another woman who has accused Farmer of raping her has a similar civil suit against the hospital that is set to go to trial in Clark County District Court on May 19.

Farmer remains in Clark County Detention Center on a $250,000 bail.

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