FORT MYERS, FL.- WINK News is uncovering new details about a local nursing assistant who is accused of molesting mental patients.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office says 5 patients of Park Royal Mental Health hospital accused 44-year old Benjamin Bland of exposing himself and masturbating in front of them.
Some even say he forced them to perform oral sex.
"Poor people come here because they have a problem and then the problem is going to be made worse by something like this," said Joan Benedetto.
Bland is a certified nursing assistant and got his license from the state of Florida back in April of last year.
Cynthia Rue with the Premiere International Institute says nursing assistants are constantly alone with patients.
"They do their baths, they do their mouth care, they do their dressing," said Rue.
To become certified, Bland had to complete a 120 hour course, a test and pass a background check.
Park Royal released a statement Thursday also saying every employee's background is reviewed.
"They are going to look in to the persons criminal history, their employment , associations, affiliates, licenses," said private investigator William Zariske.
Zariske tells us any mental health issues usually would not appear in the report.
WINK News has also uncovered that Bland was arrested for domestic violence back in 2009, but those charges were dropped and would not appear on a background check if the judge had the charges expunged.
Both the Agency for Healthcare Administration and DCF are investigating.
Bland has been fired from Park Royal Hospital.
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