In what are supposed to be the private and sacrosanct confines of a Pennsylvania dermatologist’s office, at least eight women, including a 17-year-old girl, allegedly were photographed and/or videotaped by a male nurse while they were unclothed for exams and treatments.
According to charging documents, police were dispatched to Penn Medicine on Floral Vale Boulevard on February 13 after a patient reported being photographed and/or video recorded without her consent by Close, a Registered Practical Nurse at the facility.
Close was charged Monday with 43 additional counts involving the original victim and seven others. Authorities say 45-year-old James Close recorded all the victims on his personal iPhone without their consent. The girl – who visited the practice three times per week for treatment – saw the phone at her feet, authorities said. Police said the girl could see the cell phone was recording live video and had been doing so for about 25 seconds while she was in the booth. She immediately handed the iPhone over to facility staff.
Officials at Penn Medicine declined early Tuesday to indicate how long Close had been employed and whether he had any prior disciplinary issues at the practice. The contents of the iPhone revealed that Close had taken about 18 videos, which depicted the patient and seven additional victims receiving light treatments while under Close’s care.
Detectives seized his phone and examined it after obtaining a search warrant, court documents say. Authorities say three additional videos of the teen were found on Close’s phone dating back to January.
“We are appalled at the actions of this former employee and are cooperating fully with the police as they investigate this very disturbing matter”, Penn Medicine said in a statement Monday.
He remains at the Bucks County Correctional Facility in lieu of 10 percent of $100,000 bail.