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Nurse investigated for child abuse

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Nurse investigated for child abuse
Photo: DPA
09:00 CET+01:00
A male nurse is under investigation for sexually abusing at least three young boys in the intensive care ward of a Berlin hospital and filming the attacks, prosecutors announced late Tuesday.

The 27-year-old nurse from the children's intensive care unit of the Helios Hospital located on the northern fringes of the capital was arrested last Friday after a nine-year-old alleged victim told his parents he had been assaulted, prosecutors said.

The alleged victims were aged between five and nine and were defenceless because they were being treated in intensive care and were either unconscious or immobile, prosecutors said.

The man, named by daily Berliner Zeitung as Michael N., is being investigated for three assaults, authorities said, though the hospital itself suggested there had been five cases and the state prosecutor warned further cases could emerge.

Prosecutors say he filmed at least some of the attacks on mobile phones. When police searched his house and his workplace, they found two mobile phones containing footage of an attack on a five-year-old. Early investigations suggest the boy was physically helpless because he was medicated.

Michael N. attempted suicide while in pre-trial custody and is now being treated in hospital.

“We are appalled and stunned,” the hospital said in a statement. “We regret most deeply the suffering, but also the uncertainty that is now plaguing many parents and patients as to whether they were or were not affected.”

Parents whose sons were treated in the intensive care unit in the past 14 months were informed of the investigation in writing.

Michael N. has no prior convictions, Berliner Zeitung reported. He lives alone, has three brothers and worked in the ward since October 2009. Colleagues said he was helpful and friendly. They had no cause to suspect he was a paedophile.

DPA/The Local/dw

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