Crime

OP hospital nurse sentenced for sexual assault of anesthetized patient

Dennis E. Clark
Dennis E. Clark

A former nurse accused of sexually assaulting anesthetized patients at hospitals in Overland Park and Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to prison Friday.

Dennis E. Clark was sentenced in Johnson County District Court to 12 years and 11 months in prison.

Clark, 50, pleaded no contest in November and was found guilty of one count of aggravated sodomy. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed other less serious charges that involved two other patients.

Misdemeanor charges that involved allegations that Clark had exposed himself to neighbors in his Gardner neighborhood were also dismissed.

The case stemmed from incidents that occurred at Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, where Clark worked in 2010 and 2011.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Covington said Clark took advantage of people when they were at their most vulnerable.

District Judge Thomas Sutherland, who followed the terms of the plea agreement in sentencing Clark, said it was difficult to find the language to describe Clark’s actions.

“Reprehensible doesn’t seem quite adequate,” the judge said.

Clark did not speak at Friday’s hearing.

After leaving his job at Menorah, Clark went to work at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan.

Kansas City, Kan., police began investigating Clark in May 2014 after a patient reported being sexually assaulted. Two other women reported similar incidents.

Wyandotte County prosecutors charged Clark with three counts of aggravated sexual battery.

After a fourth victim came forward, prosecutors amended the charges to include two counts of rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

Clark was prosecuted first in Johnson County, and the charges are pending in Wyandotte County.

An assistant Wyandotte County district attorney attended Friday’s sentencing in Johnson County.

The Kansas board of nursing revoked Clark’s registered nursing license after the charges were filed in Wyandotte County.

Once he is released from prison, Clark will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the plea agreement.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc

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