Wheel-Chair Bound Woman Taken From Barnes Hospital, Sexually Abused

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - A St. Louis man is charged with wheeling a twenty-two year old, wheelchair bound woman out of the emergency room at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and sexually assaulting her Friday.  Daniel Hooper, 42, is charged with kidnapping and sexual abuse. 

It happened just before 5pm on Friday.  Court documents indicate Hooper came upon the woman in her wheelchair and simply began pushing her toward the door.  Prosecutors say the woman did not know him.

Neither prosecutors nor hospital officials will say how he managed to get the woman past normally tight security.

Once outside, the probable cause statement says “touched the victim on her genitals over her clothing, and touched the victim’s breasts.”

No one is saying how Hooper was caught.

In a statement, Barnes-Jewish said, "The safety of our patients and staff is the utmost priority of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. A patient in our emergency department reported an incident to clinical staff Friday evening and we immediately contacted St. Louis City police. We are fully cooperating with the police and circuit attorney on their investigation."

A Barnes spokesman cited H.I.P.P.A., the nation’s patient privacy act, as reason why they couldn’t comment any further on the case.

When asked what security procedures, or an apparent security lapse, have to do with H.I.P.P.A., the spokesman simply said he couldn’t comment further. 

Hooper has a lengthy criminal record that including six different prison sentences dating back to 1995.  His most recent conviction was for being a chronic DWI offender.  He was sentence to ten years on April 12, 2011, but was already out on parole.

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