A nurse at a West Islip hospital has been charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance after he photographed the “intimate parts” of a 17-year-old female patient, authorities said Friday.
Nicholas Petrella, an employee of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, took the photo of the teenage patient as she lay on an emergency room hospital bed, Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Cronin said at Petrella’s arraignment Friday.
A nursing assistant who was on duty with Petrella told police he saw Petrella, 35, raise the patient’s hospital gown and take photos of her with a cellphone on May 20, authorities said.
Prosecutors said the patient was being treated for alcohol intoxication in the emergency room.
Good Samaritan, in a statement, said the hospital contacted police and the matter was under police review.
Authorities arrested Petrella at his North Babylon home on Thursday.
Petrella’s attorney, Matt Tuohy, denied the charges at the arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip. Tuohy said Petrella, a married father with three children, had been a nurse at Good Samaritan for more than 10 years.
Tuohy told District Court Judge Stephen L. Ukeiley that his client cooperated with authorities and there was no evidence the incident took place.
Ukeiley granted the prosecution’s request for a stay-away order in favor of the plaintiff and set Petrella’s bail at $7,500 cash or $15,000 bond.
In an interview, Tuohy said Petrella had told him “he handled his duties as a nurse and that this did not happen. . . . It’s absolutely not true.”
Authorities urge anyone with more information to call Third Squad detectives at 631-854-8352.