PORT HUENEME : Ex-Hospital Worker Held in Molestation

A 19-year-old former counselor’s assistant is scheduled to be arraigned today on charges of molesting a 13-year-old patient in a substance abuse program at a Port Hueneme hospital, according to authorities.

Joseph Eldridge of Camarillo was arrested Friday on suspicion of having sexual intercourse with a girl who was a member of the adolescent substance-abuse program at Anacapa Adventist Hospital, said Sgt. Dennis Fitzgerald of the Port Hueneme Police Department.

The case came to the attention of officers investigating the allegations of a 15-year-old patient who said Eldridge had sexual intercourse with her in March, Fitzgerald said.

The hospital fired Eldridge in March after learning of the charges, he said.


The hospital declined to comment on the allegations.

Eldridge was in jail in Ventura on $10,000 bail, Sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Watlington said.

Anacapa Adventist Hospital has run the substance abuse program for more than four years. The hospital treats adolescents for alcohol and drug abuse on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, according to a brochure distributed by the hospital.