HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) --A Kings County judge sentenced a former Avenal nurse to 10 years in state prison Tuesday, for inappropriately touching patients during examinations. The judge said 67-year-old Jeffer Sabino would perform exams on female patients, then sexually assault them.
Inside a Kings County courtroom, five victims spoke of their hardships after being sexually assaulted by Sabino while in his care at Avenal Community Health Center. Some of the women said they had become distant from their families, lost their jobs, and fallen into a deep depression. One woman said Sabino still haunted her dreams while another said he destroyed her happiness.
"He targeted his victims and picked his victims wisely and lured them into a situation that made them comfortable and allowed him to violate them," said Keith Fagundes, Kings County District Attorney.
Sabino was a longtime nurse practitioner at Avenal Community Health Center. His defense attorney says he also did missionary work and many in his family practice medicine.
"This is a man who, without any disciplinary actions by the medical board, at least related to improper conduct with patients in his career. A man who retired from the military. So it's somewhat suspect when you see these types of allegations being made," said Michael Aed, Defense Attorney.
"When you have multiple people-- upwards of seven-- corroborating the same modus operandi, which is mode of operation, it starts to set forth a pattern," said Fagundes.
Prosecutors also said these women were unfamiliar with the procedures he performed.
Three of Sabino's seven victims were employees at Avenal Community Health Center, but only one still works there. The lawyer for the center tells us Mr. Sabino hasn't worked there since he was arrested in 2013. He said patient safety is absolutely paramount to the clinic and inappropriate behavior needs to be appropriately sanctioned.
Last month Sabino plead no contest to seven counts of sexual battery. Tuesday, he was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
Sabino will have to pay $3,000 to the state restitution fund. A civil suit against Sabino and the clinic he worked at is ongoing.
The California Board of Registered Nursing will now seek revocation of Jeffer Sabino's RN and NP license through the office of administrative hearings.