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HEADLINERS
Updated 2008 May 1

The Caleb Rasay Case

Charges Against Nurse Dismissed


The day Caleb Rasay hoped for finally came on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 as the prosecutor in the case announced to the court that the victim was unwilling to proceed any further and dismissed all charges.

Rasay, a registered nurse employed at the Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida had been charged with a lewd act allegedly committed on a 21 year old patient in January, 2005. The patient alleged that nurse Rasay attempted to perform a medical procedure and in the course of that procedure, commited the sexual act upon him.

Rasay denied all of these accusations.
Caleb Rasay accused of lewd act against hospital patient - case was dismissed

Rasay was suspended from his employment.  He was later arrested and incarcerated at the Broward County jail.  With help from friends and relatives Rasay posted bail. He would later say he became distressed emotionally and financially. “I could not believe this was happening to me,” said Rasay. “I have only seen these things happen in movies.”

Abandoned and left to fend for himself, Rasay counted on the support of close friends. “There is a moment in anyone’s life when your true friends are revealed,” said Rasay. “Whatever happened to me, I was fortunate to have friends who stuck and supported me through the ordeal.”
.
 Consul General Macatangay  Friends brought his case to the attention of the Filipino community and Dr. Angelo Macatangay, Philippine Honorary Consul General for South Florida, and its Chief of Staff, Mrs. Marilou Macatangay.

Though asssisting distressed Filipino citizens is inherent in its responsibilities, the Philippine Honorary Consulate General  in South Florida went over and beyond in extending assistance to Rasay.

"We helped to look for the best lawyer possible for Mr. Rasay," said Mrs. Macatangay. "Anyone deserves a fair trial. Our friends in legal circles told us about Mr. David Bogenschutz."

Unsure whether Bogenschutz, among the top defense lawyers in the nation, will accept the case, Rasay, accompanied by Mrs. Macatangay nonetheless visited the Law Offices of Bogenschutz, Dutko and Kroll, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale.
Philippine Honorary Consul General Angelo S. Macatangay, MD
 
 
"Mr. Bogenschutz listened to my case. He was a very kind man," Rasay would later say.

"We were concerned about the enormity of the financial requirements for Caleb to defend himself in a fair trial," said Mrs. Macatangay. "We were all thankful when Mr. Bogenschutz made some considerations."

Bogenschutz agreed to take Rasay’s case. 

Mr. Bogenschutz later explained to Basta Pinoy News why:  “As a lawyer you like to be involved in cases that tests your mettle and also that are interesting. It also had a kind of a flavor that something was wrong that was happening, that needed to be made right.“

High profile defense lawyer J David Bogenschutz of Fort Lauderdale, Florida 
J. David Bogenschutz
As the case evolved new charges came up that would have put Rasay, who was out on bail, back to jail. With assistance from Filipino community leaders Nenette and Bembol Vilches and Dr. and Mrs. Macatangay of the Philippine Consulate, Rasay stayed out of jail with bond.†
 Marilou Macatangay
Mrs. Marilou Macatangay

As Rasay prepared for his defense and day in court, the Vilches'es and Macatangays, with some members of the Filipino community provided him with necessary assistance enabling him to survive.

"I was able to be strong and kept my faith with the help of these individuals," said Rasay.  "Without them, I dont know what could happen to me.  They gave me hope."

After three years of legal wrangling, lengthy depositions of the alleged victim, and all other witnesses in this case, Rasay’s legal team, headed by Fort Lauderdale Attorney J. David Bogenschutz, had assembled significant expert medical testimony in the form of a distinguished and well-known pathologist, Dr. Ronald K. Wright, Psychiatrist Dr. David Kramer and Registered Filipino Nurse Anne Marie Puentespina, a nominee for the New York State board of Nursing, who were prepared to testify that the medical procedure being conducted by Rasay was appropriate under the circumstances, and that the victim was heavily under the influence of morphine as well as other drugs, which in combination, were consistent with a delirium that affected his ability to recall, or comprehend much of what was going on around him.

On the second day of trial on Tuesday, March 25, 3008, the prosecutor in the case announced to the court that the victim was unwilling to proceed any further and dismissed all charges. Under American law, once a jury is sworn, and testimony taken, a dismissal by the State acts as an acquittal, barring the prosecution from ever re-filing or again bringing the charges that were dismissed. The Department of Health is reviewing Mr. Rasay’s current status for a determination as to whether their charges, as well, will be dismissed as a result of the action taken in the Circuit Court.

Now a free man, Rasay intends to resume his nursing career and is considering what other remedies are available to hime for the 3 years that he was suspended as a result of these unfounded charges.

Rasay however laments that print and broadcast news which reverberated across the globe and sensationalized his case, are still posted online – without any update to his acquittal of the charges. “Maybe its just the way how it works, its their business to attract readers to sensational news,” said Rasay. “News of my acquittal may be less important to report than sensational accusations, but for me, its a new life ahead.” (Basta Pinoy News) 
 
 


 

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