Women Say They Were Assaulted While in the Dentist's Chair
It’s a shocking betrayal, as no one expects to be sexually assaulted at the dentist's office
Sexual assault can happen at any time to any woman, but no one expects it to happen in the dentist's chair.
Valerie Oliva, 24, says she was sexually assaulted while still groggy from anesthesia following wisdom teeth surgery.
"It was a devastating experience," she told Inside Edition. "It’s something no one should ever have to go through."
In video obtained by Inside Edition, she can be seen sitting in the dentist's chair as dental assistant Luis Ramos gropes her.
“It’s a shocking betrayal; no one expects to be sexually assaulted at the dentist's office," said Inside Edition’s Senior Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero.
"It's scary — it’s just so scary," Oliva replied. "This is real; it’s not just in movies or on TV. I saw it happen to me."
In the video, you can see Ramos lift her up by her rear end. Then he places her in a wheelchair, where the assault continued while she was still disoriented from the anesthesia.
"This is the part that I remember, his bare hand on my breast," Oliva said.
The dental assistant is seen in the video sticking his hands under her bra and fondling her.
The shocking abuse happened in 2016 at Park Boulevard Oral Surgery in San Diego and Oliva is far from the only victim. Police say the dental assistant assaulted more than a dozen women ranging in age from 17 to 63.
Attorney Jessica Pride says because they were under anesthesia, many of Ramos' victims didn't even know they were abused until police contacted them after viewing the footage.
"A woman under the effects of anesthesia — unable to say no, unable to fend for herself — is the perfect victim for a sexual predator," Pride said.
Ramos worked for oral surgeon Dr. Steven Podstreleny, who says he was shocked and outraged by what his cameras recorded.
"I had cameras installed for this kind of situation that I never thought would happen," he said.
At Ramos' sentencing, several patients gave gripping impact statements.
"I am disgusted to be sitting in a room with such a perverted, distorted and sick person," one victim said during her statement. "I hope and pray... that you suffer what you put so many of us through and that you wish you were never born."
The dental office that employed Ramos says when they became aware of the abuse; they fired him and fully cooperated with authorities.
Ramos was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
Experts say it's important that women ask for a female chaperone while under anesthesia so they're not left alone and unsupervised.
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