DA to drop charges in hospital rape of quadriplegic 

A story that surfaced in June about a patient raping a quadriplegic man at San Francisco General Hospital gripped the public’s interest for its depravity and malice, but it turns out that heinous “crime” was purely a matter of fiction.

The District Attorney’s Office charged Irving Jovel, 49, with sexually assaulting an incapacitated 52-year-old man with a limited ability to communicate in the victim’s room.

But it turns out that investigators couldn’t find any of Jovel’s DNA on the “victim,” according Deputy Public Defender Carmen Aguirre. Any signs that a rape even occurred were actually because some bloody stool was found on the man’s bed sheet.

Jovel, whose severe epilepsy has caused several traumatic injuries over the years, has been in the county jail hospital since June 5. The DNA results were finalized in July and the prosecutor called Aguirre on Wednesday to dismiss the case altogether.

Not only will Jovel be exonerated of the crime, but The City will as well. The family of the man who claimed to be raped – whose name is still kept confidential because of the sensitivity of rape cases despite the rape never occurring – filed a claim against The City for neglect immediately after the accusations.

“There were very suspicious circumstances that surrounded the incident from the beginning,” Aguirre said. “Jovel’s family has been humiliated and devastated about the accusations.”

The case is expected to be dropped Thursday morning in San Francisco Superior Court.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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