WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The man who admitted to sexually assaulting three patients at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis will spend more than three decades behind bars.
Miguel Rodela pled guilty in September to one count of rape, two counts of attempted rape and two counts of battery.
The prosecution asked for maximum sentences on all those charges Thursday, and they got what they were looking for — but not before hearing tearful testimonies from the sisters of one of Rodela’s victims.
Her siblings described the early morning in June when their sister experienced an unforgettable violation. The two siblings will remain unnamed to protect their identities.
“My sister, who was extremely ill at the time, was awakened by a predator who assaulted her in the most personal way a woman could imagine,” said one of the victim’s sisters.
“Before June 15, 2023, my sister was a different person,” said the other sister who gave testimony. “She has never been the same after that day. Part of her really did die that day.”
They both described their sister as being in fragile health, weighing only 88 pounds.
“If I could, I would stop right here and permit 21 minutes of silence,” said the first sibling. “Twenty-one minutes is the amount of time he was alone with her to do whatever he chose. Twenty-one minutes was an eternity.”
The victim’s family says those 21 minutes weren’t the end of her pain.
They say she had to relive the rape in the following days as she spoke to family and detectives about the incident.
“To contemplate what she went through, that such a thing could happen to our beloved family member and matriarch, was unimaginable,” said the first sister. “Not anymore. We feel heartbroken and filled with grief, pain and anger.”
Rodela apologized in court and blamed his behavior on alcohol consumption and depression.
He is sentenced to more than 32 years in prison for one count of rape and two counts of attempted rape and 12 months in jail for two counts of battery.
The victim and two other women filed lawsuits against Via Christi St. Francis Hospital this summer.
The law firm representing them sent KSN the following statement:
“In June of this year, three innocent women endured a harrowing ordeal within the
confines of Ascension Via Christi St. Francis hospital, resulting in severe harm and trauma.
Today, the women and their families were pleased to learn that justice has been served in the
criminal aspect of this case. Miguel Rodela was sentenced to 389 months in prison.
This outcome reflects the dedication and effectiveness of our criminal justice system in
holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions. The family is extremely thankful to the
Wichita Police Department, and especially the work of Detective Seth Creighton.
While this marks a significant step towards closure for the victims and their families, it is
important to acknowledge that the journey to justice is multifaceted. Our clients are in the midst
of a legal action against Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, asserting that the hospital bears
responsibility for failing to protect against the harm they suffered and for the institutional failures that allowed such a tragedy to occur.
We continue to conduct our investigations, gather evidence, and work with our experts as
we move our cases forward.
Our primary focus is to ensure that the victims and their families receive the justice theyHutton & Hutton Law Firm L.L.C.
deserve, and hope that the necessary changes are implemented to prevent similar incidents in the future. We look forward to resolving the cases against the hospital.”
/s/ Matthew M. Dwyer