Pa. Nurse Admits He Filmed Female Patients — Including Teen Girl — While They Were Undressed

A Pennsylvania nurse last week admitted to filming multiple female patients, including a teenage girl, while they were undressed and in his care, PEOPLE confirms.

James Close, 45, pleaded guilty on Friday in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to all 48 criminal counts against him — among them three dozen charges of invasion of privacy — according to a county court official.

His sentencing has been deferred pending a sex-offender evaluation, Philly.com reports.

“The bond between a patient and a medical professional is one of sacred trust, and he shattered that with these women,” attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi, who represents three of Close’s victims, tells PEOPLE. “And so I felt no pity for him that he was caught and is now facing punishment for the destruction of their trust.”

Close’s attorney, Ellis Klein, said he “has been nothing but remorseful since day one,” according to Philly.com.

Authorities say they first discovered what Close had done when a 17-year-old female patient at the dermatology facility where he worked in Yardley, Pennsylvania, discovered his phone was recording her during a procedure, the Associated Press and CBS News report.

That discovery led to others: Investigators ultimately found 18 videos on his phone depicting the teen and seven other women between the ages of 20 and 70, all seemingly recorded in January or February, according to Philly.com.

Four of the 18 videos were of the teenage girl, prosecutors said, according to CBS News.

Close was reportedly charged in February. He remains in the Bucks County Correctional Facility, records show. Neither his attorney nor the district attorney’s office immediately returned messages seeking comment.

Among the charges he pleaded guilty to on Friday were endangering the welfare of children and sexual abuse of children, according to court records.

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Mongeluzzi tells PEOPLE that the then-17-year-old girl who caught Close was in court to see his plea, along with her family.

He says that Close apparently went undetected while recording patients because he waited until they were inside a light-therapy booth which required them to be essentially hooded and blinded — “so he was able to either put underneath or hold it on top and be able to videotape them.”

“She was an alert and courageous young women,” Mongeluzzi says of the teen.

A Penn Medicine spokesperson tells PEOPLE they were “appalled at the actions of this former employee and cooperated fully with law enforcement during investigation of this very disturbing matter.”

It is unclear when Close’s employment there ended; the spokesperson did not immediately responded to further questions.

Mongeluzzi says he and his clients, which also include two other victims of Close who are in their 50s and 60s, are in the “information-gathering stage” and have not made a decision about possible litigation.

The three women “continue to struggle” with the violation of Close’s crimes, Mongeluzzi says.

“There’s no satisfactory outcome when your trust has been violated,” he says, adding, “Obviously the next step is: What punishment is he going to get? And I think that I would have a much better understanding, and so would they, as to how they’re going to adjust to this once the punishment’s announced.”

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/crime/pennsylvania-nurse-filmed-naked-female-patients/

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