GOSHEN — She was frail, but she had the strength to speak out in Orange County Court, confronting the man who took advantage of his job as a worker at Bon Secours Community Hospital to sexually assault her.
The woman was a patient at the Port Jervis hospital’s psychiatric ward when aide Nathan Oglesby, 57, of the Town of Wallkill, subjected her to sexual acts in March 2016. In October, a jury convicted Oglesby of third-degree criminal sexual act, a felony; and second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor. People in institutions, including psychiatric wards, cannot legally consent to sexual activity under New York law. The jury acquitted him on two felonies related to force or coercion.
On Thursday, the woman told Oglesby in court that she wants him to know how he has hurt her and her family. She said she felt guilty about reporting him to police until she realized he did this to himself. She is angry that she believed him when he told her no one would listen to her.
She said the abuse has robbed her of her appetite, robbed her of a full relationship with her husband.
“It feels like you threw me so far from myself. I’m still trying to find my way back,” she said. “I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. He knew what he did was wrong.”
She asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Michael Milza also asked Judge William DeProspo to impose the maximum sentence, four years in prison plus 10 years of post-release supervision. Oglesby’s conduct, Milza said, “was nothing short of appalling, despicable and disgusting” and “a massive betrayal of trust” to the woman, the hospital and the community.
A forensic evaluation found Oglesby to be manipulative and without remorse, Milza said. Oglesby denies his guilt despite the evidence, including an admission to police, text messages he sent trying to extend the sexual relationship and photos he sent the woman of his genitalia, Milza said.
Oglesby’s lawyer, Herman Kaufmann, called the case “a hoax,” created so the woman and her brother-in-law could file their lawsuit against Oglesby and the hospital. The jury only convicted on statutory charges, their hands tied by the law, Kaufmann argued.
“Somebody tell me what the jury found he did wrong,” Kaufmann said. “The answer is nothing.”
Judge DeProspo pointed out that this was not the case.
“This particular defendant, he knew what he was doing,” and thought the woman would be too weak to disclose what happened, DeProspo said.
Instead, DeProspo said, “She had the courage and the backbone to come in here and fight for herself and to make sure you never do this to anyone else.”
He imposed sentence: four years in prison, plus 10 years of post-release supervision, and $1,475 in fees and fines. He also imposed a $500 sanction against Kaufmann, who he had held in contempt for repeated lateness during the trial.