A Jan. 3, 2022, trial date has been set for a Tampa man and former Citrus Memorial Hospital nurse accused of sexually assaulting a patient at the local hospital.
Circuit Judge Richard Howard set the trial date during a Oct. 13 Zoom status hearing.
Hiram Bonilla, 58, who faces one charge of lewd battery on an elderly or disabled person and two charges of lewd or lascivious molestation of an elderly person or disabled person, did not speak during the hearing.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Bonilla in January after the State Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest.
Bonilla’s lawyer, Susan Falardeau, told Howard that she’s reviewed the materials associated with the case and that she has begun scheduling depositions with witnesses and others involved in the case.
Falardeau said she hadn’t received any plea offers from the state attorney.
Assistant State Attorney Tara Hartman told Howard that after interviewing the victim, there would be no plea offers.
“He took advantage of her,” Hartman said of the victim.
Hartman told Howard that Bonilla had stuck papers on windows to obscure what he was doing.
“He was in and out of her room all night,” Hartman said.
According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, a Citrus Memorial Hospital staff member in January contacted the sheriff’s office in reference to an alleged sexual assault of a patient.
Detectives Thomas Dowling and Ryan Brown with the CCSO Special Victims Unit responded to the hospital where they located evidence that supported the victim's claims, the original CCSO media release stated.
CMH fired Bonilla after the accusation.
The detectives then met with Bonilla at his home in Tampa. During the interview Bonilla confirmed that he had engaged in sexual acts with the victim, according to the CCSO release.
After more interviews with the victim and witnesses, the State Attorney's Office issued Bonilla’s arrest warrant.
"It is always our goal to find justice for victims, and the detectives of the Citrus County Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit work with unflagging devotion to duty to bring closure to these victims," Sheriff Mike Prendergast said in the original release. "The victim in this case placed her trust in the health care system. Bonilla not only violated that trust, but he took advantage of her in a time of need when he should have been providing care.”
Bonilla's three charges are all felonies.