PORT ANGELES — A hearing to set a trial date has been reset for a former Olympic Medical Center emergency room physician charged with multiple counts of indecent liberties by a healthcare provider.
Josiah Hill, 39, of Port Angeles appeared in Clallam County Superior Court via Zoom on Friday and will have an additional hearing Oct. 26 to set a trial date. Hill also has been charged with one count of second-degree rape.
Clallam County prosecuting attorney Michele Devlin informed the court that additional discovery investigations and information were needed before a trial date could be set.
“A new victim has come forward and the defense council and I agreed to set the hearing out a couple of weeks so that we can get that information, get the police reports, and then we can better figure out a more viable trial date,” Devlin said.
Multiple women have come forward about being sexually assaulted by Hill while under his care at OMC. Some have pressed charges and others have filed civil suits against him.
The most recent filing occurred on Sept. 9 following an interview conducted by a Port Angeles police officer with the victim on July 27.
The woman told police she was taken to the OMC emergency room in August 2021 for alcohol addiction treatment and Hill was the attending physician.
Hospital records indicated the woman had a blood alcohol content of 0.40 and that Hill gave her Ativan, a drug used to treat alcohol withdrawal, the side effects of which are sedation and hallucination.
A nurse with the state Department of Health confirmed that the combination of the medicine and alcohol would have required that the woman be monitored. However, hospital records show no observer was assigned to her room.
The woman was at the hospital for more than five hours and recalled waking up in a room with Hill beside her.
Video surveillance footage showed Hill entering the woman’s room at least seven times, usually alone.
Surveillance showed Hill attending to the woman by her checking her vitals, giving IV medication and giving her blankets.
However, in each instance, the video shows Hill exposing her or touching her inappropriately, or having her touch him.
The woman told police that Hill had said he was observing her and would not let any of the male nurses attend to her.
At one point, surveillance footage showed Hill giving the woman an IV, placing her hand between his legs, and when a lab employee came in with blood draw supplies, Hill moved the woman’s hand to his hip.
Footage also showed the woman gave her phone to Hill.
When the woman was cleared to leave the hospital, Hill offered her a ride home, which she declined.
As she left, she received a text from a number she didn’t recognize but knew it was Hill because he asked if she had found a ride home.
A search warrant of Hill’s phone confirmed that text interaction.
A motion hearing has been set for Oct. 12 in Clallam County Superior Court where OMC has motioned to partially quash search warrants of documents that were entered into discovery for the investigation into Hill.
The documents in question belong to the hospital’s quality improvement committee and contain reports from the hospital’s disruptive event manager and reports safety manager. The safety event management reports are filled out by employees when events occur that make them or a patient feel unsafe.
OMC had previously sent redacted copies of these documents, but the prosecution was dissatisfied with them and has requested the full documents.
OMC is claiming it has a policy that allows it to withhold those documents due to their “privileged nature,” and that they do not fall within the Health Insurance and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
“It is of vital importance to patient care that providers be allowed to report adverse events concerning their colleagues in confidence,” said Jane Liu, an attorney for OMC. “To allow the disclosure of privileged quality improvement documents to the police, which in turn would make those documents available to the public, will have a chilling effect on OMC staff’s ability to confidentially and candidly report and evaluate adverse events.”
Liu said OMC received no assurances from the prosecution to protect the documents.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached by email at email@example.com.