Woman says hospital leaked personal info to her alleged rapist, who then attacked her again

A federal lawsuit claims Atchison Hospital in Kansas and an X-ray technician violated privacy rights.

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By David K. Li

A woman filed suit against a Kansas hospital, claiming an employee there leaked her private health information to her alleged rapist — who then sexually assaulted her a second time.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday and obtained by NBC News, targeted Atchison Hospital in northeastern Kansas and its former X-ray technician, Janet Rawson Enzbrenner.

The plaintiff, who is named in the lawsuit but will not be identified by NBC News, was sexually assaulted on May 26, 2017. She was taken to Atchison Hospital where a rape kit was administered, according to the civil complaint.

The woman said she disclosed the name of her alleged attacker to hospital staff.

Later, Enzbrenner "gained access to plaintiff's individually identifiable health information" and "contacted plaintiff's assailant and advised the man that plaintiff had accused him of sexual assault," according to the civil action filed by plaintiff's attorney, Trevor Wohlford.

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The accused rapist then "relentlessly harassed plaintiff through text messages, social media and phone calls" before sexually assaulting her again on or about Nov. 4, 2017, the woman claimed.

Her lawsuit includes a Nov. 2, 2017 letter, before the alleged second attack, from hospital CEO John Jacobson that appears to confirm allegations against Atchison.

Jacobson wrote that "this employee ... did access some of your health information and apparently did disclose it to another individual without your permission."

"We sincerely and deeply regret that this occurred," wrote Jacobson, adding that the employee was fired.

A representative for the Atchison County Attorney on Friday said prosecutors know about the alleged rapes, but did not file charges. The office declined to elaborate on why it chose not to prosecute after authorities were notified.

It wasn't clear how Enzbrenner may have known the alleged rapist and the plaintiff's attorney, Wohlford, also declined comment on Friday.

Messages sent to Enzbrenner on Friday, left through publicly listed phone numbers and an email address, were not immediately returned.

Jacobson, in a statement to NBC News on Friday night, said hospital officials worked as quickly as possibly once they were alerted to the breach.

"While we are limited with what we can share related to this situation, we are deeply disturbed by the actions of this former employee," Jacobson said.

"In fact, when we were made aware of the situation, we took immediate steps to investigate, and within two days, we terminated this individual's employment."