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Nurse Sent to Prison for Molesting Patients Under Anesthesia

A former registered nurse pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of fondling two surgical patients while they were under anesthesia at Ohio State University Medical Center.

John W. Smiley, 34, was sentenced Wednesday to four years and 11 months in prison on one count of gross sexual imposition and one count of attempted gross sexual imposition.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Charles Schneider labeled Smiley a sexually oriented offender, meaning after his release he must provide authorities with his address for 10 years.

Smiley, who was working as a contract nurse at OSU, also agreed to the permanent revocation of his nursing license and to psychological counseling.

The case prompted Ohio State to require criminal background checks on all nursing candidates, including temporary hires.

Two male patients complained that they found Smiley holding their genitals as they came out of anesthesia in November 2004, said Sue Ann Reulbach, assistant county prosecutor.

Smiley did not explain his actions, which included overmedicating the patients to make them groggy, Reulbach said.

The guilty plea Wednesday was Smiley's second in the case. He withdrew his first plea to consult with a different attorney.