EMT convicted in rape of female patient in Mission Viejo

NEWPORT BEACH - An EMT was convicted today of raping a female patient in a hospital room while she was intoxicated, the Orange County District Attorney announced this afternoon.

Jesse Karim Pena, 32, of Winchester, Calif., pleaded guilty to one felony count of rape of an intoxicated person. He was sentenced to three years in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.

The assault occurred at 12 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2009. The 31-year-old woman was taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.

While on-duty as an emergency medical technician, Pena logged himself into the victim's hospital room while she was alone and unable to resist due to intoxication, authorities said.

Prosecutors said that Pena raped the victim and left. The woman reported the rape to hospital personnel, who called 911.

DNA found on the victim's hospital gown linked Pena to the crime, officials said.

He was arrested at a family member's home in Ontario, Calif., on June 25, 2009.

At the time of the rape, Pena was an independent contractor EMT who may also have worked at other hospitals in Orange County and the San Diego area.

During the sentencing today, a letter was submitted to the court by the victim, who explained that the sexual assault committed against her by Pena has made coping with daily life more difficult.

She asked, "How do [rape victims] do it? At times I don't even know who I am anymore."