A Saanich man is charged with four counts of sexual assault investigators believe occured at Aberdeen Hospital on Hillside Avenue. Google

UPDATED: Sexual assault charges laid against B.C. care worker

Amado Ceniza, 39, of Vancouver Island faces four counts of sexual assault, four counts of sexual exploitation

This story has been updated from the original version (July 26, 12:25 p.m.).

Charges have been laid against a man who allegedly sexually assaulted seniors and people with disabilities at a Victoria care facility.

Amado Ceniza, 39, of Saanich has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and four counts of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability.

Ceniza was employed as a health care aide at Aberdeen Hospital at 1450 Hillside Ave. where the incidents are alleged to have occurred earlier this year. Staff were made aware of the alleged offences and upon reporting the incidents to police Ceniza was suspended from his position by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

“[Ceniza] was suspended from the registry on July 17 because there was an Island Health employer submission with the allegation of abuse,” said Bruce Bell, registry director.

The process of the registry is to immediately remove an individual even though it’s an allegation, he said. “No questions asked, you’re removed.”

RELATED: Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health was unable to confirm exactly when the incidents took place or how long they had occurred before being brought to the attention of staff and police.

“It’s a very serious incident and has had a profound effect on all individuals at the facility,” said Norm Peters, executive director of residential services for Island Health who called the nature of the assaults “a very serious, but rare occcurrence.”

Additional social work support for the individuals affected, their families and staff – including counselling services – has been made available, Peters said, and care aide hours have increased at Aberdeen.

“There is a very thorough vetting process for all employees especially those who work with vulnerable people,” he added, including a criminal check and reference checks.

In a statement released Wednesday, VicPD said Ceniza has not had access to patients at the Island Health facility since the allegations were made.

Ceniza appeared before a Judicial Justice of the Peace and was released on bail.

Under bail conditions he is not to have contact with any of the alleged victims, or come within a 200 metre radius of the Hillside Avenue facility. He is not to be alone in a room with anyone under the age of 18, the elderly, or anyone who is physically or mentally disabled.

He must not be in any care facility or home for a vulnerable population and must report to a bail supervisor.

Investigators have spoken with three victims but suspect there could be more and are urging anyone who has been the victim of a crime to call the non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.

Sexual assault can also be reported to a doctor, nurse or other health care provider, at an emergency room, through the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre at 250-383-3232 or through the Men’s Trauma Centre at 250-381-6367.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Shag Creek area under evacuation order, area expanded

93 properties are being told to evacuate immediately

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. woman set for trial in Alberta as animal cruelty investigation continues in home province

Karin Adams was discovered with eight dogs in Alberta weeks after having 16 dogs seized in Quesnel

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read