Prineville woman facing criminal charges in connection with St. Charles data breach
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel filed criminal charges Tuesday against 35-year-old Prineville resident Dawnielle Vaca for illegally accessing scores of electronic patient records at St. Charles Health System.
According to media release from the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office, Vaca, while employed as a certified nursing assistant at St. Charles Hospital in Bend, viewed thousands of patient records that she was unauthorized to view.
She is facing two counts of computer crime for accessing the St. Charles computer system to view these records. She was not found to have a financial motive to access the records and there is no evidence that any patient suffered financial harm as a result of this privacy breach. Rather, Vaca viewed the records because she was curious.
"Patients share intimate details of their lives with their medical providers, including mental health struggles, relationship problems, medication use, and embarrassing medical conditions," said Hummel. "We expect, and should demand, that these private matters will remain private. Oregon law makes it a crime to violate the privacy of patients and I will never hesitate to hold accountable those who do."
Once District Attorney Hummel began a legal review of this matter, St. Charles Health System cooperated with him and police detectives.
Vaca will be given an opportunity to contest these allegations at a court hearing on July 27 at 1:15 p.m.