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06-12-07, 10:44 PM #1
Ex-Children's Hospital Therapist Pleads Guilty
Ex-Children's Hospital therapist pleads guilty to child molesting
By Ray Huard
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
1:30 p.m. June 12, 2007
SAN DIEGO – A former Children's Hospital respiratory therapist called “a monster” by investigators pleaded guilty Tuesday to molesting patients and taking their photographs to distribute as child pornography.
Wayne Albert Bleyle will almost certainly spend the rest of his life in prison, Deputy District Attorney Laura Gunn said.
“The first time he sees a parole board, he will be 95 years old,” Gunn said outside the courtroom.
Under the terms of a plea agreement approved Tuesday by San Diego Superior Court Judge Kenneth So, Bleyle will be sentenced to prison for 45 years and eight months at a July 25 hearing. The judge said Bleyle must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.
“This is absolutely one of the worst child molest cases imaginable,” Gunn said.
Bleyle, 55, pleaded guilty to eight counts of committing forcible lewd acts on five children who were under his care at the convalescent center at the hospital – now known as Rady Children's Hospital. He also pleaded guilty to five counts of exhibiting a minor in pornography.
Asked by the judge if he agreed with Bleyle's guilty plea, defense attorney Casey Donovan said, “this is Mr. Bleyle's decision.”
If Bleyle ever gets out of prison, the judge said he would be subject to hormone therapy to suppress his sex drive and required to register as a sex offender.
Bleyle was charged with molesting five seriously ill patients, two of whom have since died, Gunn said.
But Gunn said Bleyle told investigators that he molested so many of the patients under his care at the hospital that he lost count.
“We don't know how many victims there are,” Gunn said.
When investigators confronted Bleyle while he was visiting his father in New York last year and asked how many children he molested, “Mr. Bleyle looked out the window and said 'how many snowflakes are out there,'” said Serge Duarte, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement deputy special agent assigned to a regional Crimes Against Children task force.
“Wayne Bleyle was a monster,” Duarte said.
In March 2006 the task force discovered that Bleyle was dealing in child pornography over the Internet, Duarte said. He said when agents searched his Santee home, they found evidence that Bleyle was abusing his patients, including photographs which showed him molesting one of them.
Bleyle worked at Children's Hospital for 26 years, the past 10 in a convalescent center where many patients are unable to move on their own or speak. He was fired after his arrest March 8, 2006.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Gunn agreed to dismiss additional child pornography charges. If Bleyle had been tried and convicted of all charges, he faced a maximum penalty of 165 years to life, Gunn said.
“This is an outcome that I think is satisfactory,” Gunn said, because it will spare one of Bleyle's 13-year-old victims from testifying in a public trial.
The girl is the only one of Bleyle's victims prosecutors have identified who could testify because none of the others who are still alive can talk, Gunn said. She said Bleyle deliberately targeted children who were so disabled that they couldn't tell anyone what he did.
Gunn said working out a plea agreement was “an ongoing process” that was finalized Monday.
Donovan, the defense attorney, wanted the judge to sentence Bleyle yesterday, but Gunn objected that Bleyle's victims or people who could speak on their behalf have a legal right to tell the judge at a later hearing how Bleyle's actions affected them. Their comments won't change Bleyle's sentence but Gunn said it would give closure to victims and their families.
“This is something that's important to them,” Gunn said outside court.
Bleyle will be the second former Children's Hospital worker to be imprisoned for molesting patients.
A former nurse, Christopher Alan Irvin, in October was sentenced to prison for 14 years and eight months for molesting a 3 1/2-year-old girl in his care.
Since the arrests of Bleyle and Irvin, Rady Children's Hospital has increased security and taken other measures, hospital spokesman Ben Metcalf said outside the courtroom.
Because Bleyle sometimes used cell phones to photograph his victims, Metcalf said hospital workers must store their phones in lockers and cannot bring them on hospital floors. He said visitors are asked to refrain from using cell phones inside.
He said the hospital also requires that two people be present when patients are examined and has installed shorter privacy curtains around patient beds so anyone standing behind the curtain can be seen.
“We're doing everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen again,” Metcalf said.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
06-12-07, 10:50 PM #2
What a sick bastard.
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