May 6, 2015 11:19 PM
Former hospital tech on trial for allegedly groping patient
DOVER - A former employee of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover was on trial Wednesday after he allegedly sexually assaulted a female patient.
She was allegedly attacked after a CAT scan in 2013.
Brendan Higgins, who was a 41-year-old computer tomography technician at the time of the alleged attack on Sept. 15, came into contact with the 25-year-old woman after she was admitted to the hospital. He later told police that "it wasn't" a mistake when he groped her, but his lawyer disputes the validity of that admission.
On Wednesday morning, Deputy County Attorney Alysia Cassotis told the jury during opening statements that Higgins started to sweet-talk the patient when he first made contact with her, asking her about her tattoos. He then rubbed her shoulders and arms as they interacted.
After the CAT scan, the woman was preparing to be transported when Higgins allegedly committed the assault.
"It is that time the defendant grabs her left breast," Cassotis said. She said the woman was in shock, especially after Higgins allegedly did the same thing to her right breast.
When taken out of the room, the woman was angry and asked to talk to police immediately.
Higgins spoke to officers investigating the situation. Then he told other employees at the hospital that the police told him he was "more believable" and called the woman "white trash," Cassotis said.
Cassotis said there is no video surveillance evidence from the CAT scan room, but there is from the hallway where the woman originally made the allegation.
Higgins' attorney, David Bobrow, told the jury the woman made inconsistent statements and said his client is the "vulnerable" one in the situation. Bobrow said police did not record his client's alleged admission and said there is no corroborating evidence to support the woman's claims.
Higgins was suspended from his job immediately after the alleged attack. He was let go from the hospital shortly thereafter.
The trial is expected to last approximately one week.