Ex-hospital worker faces new patient assault charge

Target 8

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former X-ray technologist for Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital is facing a new sexual assault charge involving a third patient.

Francisco Muniz, 39, of Greenville was formally charged Tuesday morning with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct — the third case involving an emergency room patient at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the woman said Muniz touched her inappropriately while he took X-rays.

East Grand Rapids Public Safety Chief Mark Herald said the third victim came forward after seeing a Target 8 report about Muniz, who was charged last month with felony third-degree and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for two other alleged assaults.

The third victim, a woman in her 20s, said she had gone to the emergency room Jan. 17 with heart palpitations.

“I didn’t know if it was normal,” she said, referring to the way he was touching her. “I was having chest x-rays, and you trust they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. But it just didn’t sit right with me.”

“It’s very upsetting. … I feel really violated,” she added.

She said Muniz asked her questions during the X-ray like, “Did I come alone? Did I live with my boyfriend? Are we married? Do we have kids?”

When she told him she and her boyfriend were only living together, she said he responded, “So it’s just for fun, then.”

She said when she saw Target 8’s report on Muniz, she recognized him right away as the X-ray technologist who touched her inappropriately. She called police the next day to report her experience.

According to court records, on July 22, 2018, Muniz allegedly penetrated a patient with his finger while X-raying her in a room at Blodgett Hospital, telling her that it would “help with your pain.”

Six months later, another woman was seeking treatment at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital’s emergency room when she says an X-ray tech sexually assaulted her while she was getting an x-ray. That tech was later identified as Muniz, court documents show.

Target 8 discovered Spectrum Health was aware of the first case and the subsequent police investigation when the second and third incidents allegedly occurred.

In a Tuesday statement to Target 8, Spectrum Health said it had “zero tolerance for sexual assault” and that it was “taking action to ensure our patients and team members feel safe in our care.”

The full statement:

“The experiences described by some of our patients are heartbreaking. We have zero tolerance for sexual assault or any type of sexual misconduct. Our focus is on the individuals who have bravely stepped forward – we recognize this is not an easy thing to do, and they have our utmost respect. We are taking action to ensure our patients and team members feel safe in our care.

“We cannot comment on the ongoing investigation related to the former Spectrum Health employee. We continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement.”

Police are urging any other potential victims of Muniz to contact them.

“If there are other individuals out there, we want to know so we can protect the community to the best of our ability,” Herald said.

Muniz’s next court hearing for the earlier cases is scheduled for Wednesday.

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