MT. HOLLY SPRINGS, Pa. (WHTM) – Michael Bragg was wearing a bulletproof vest and surrounded by several agents when he was escorted into a district judge’s office Thursday morning for his arraignment on nearly 400 charges filed by the attorney general’s office.
Death threats on social media led to the increase in police protection.
“I will always be sorry to everyone involved,” Bragg told ABC27 News.
Bragg is accused of videotaping hundreds of patients, including 19 minors, in the UPMC Carlisle hospital emergency room where he was a nurse. He is also accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.
Harrisburg attorney Ben Andreozzi is representing about a dozen alleged victims. Some were as young as 12 years old.
“They are devastated. Essentially what happened is they got a knock on their door, telling them that some pervert had been secretly recording them,” Andreozzi said. “They had been waiting in the emergency room waiting room, and he was the charge nurse who called them into the rooms. He would then ask them to undress. Oftentimes he would ask them to undress when there was no legitimate reason. And while they were undressing, he was recording them, unknown to them.”
Bragg was already in jail in Franklin County on child pornography charges. Authorities say he videotaped neighborhood children in the bathroom of his Chambersburg home.
The new charges are one count of aggravated indecent assault of an unconscious person, one count of indecent assault, 19 counts of manufacturing child pornography, 171 counts of invasion of privacy, 201 counts of intercepting communications, and one count of criminal use of communication facility.
Investigators are still trying to identify some of the 206 people they say were recorded by Bragg.
“It would not surprise me if the number is not closer to a thousand,” Andreozzi said. “We have no doubt that this tragedy was entirely preventable. It is important to understand that institutions like UPMC have a responsibility to keep patients safe, and if there are oversights in protecting patients they can be responsible.”
“A hospital is a place where you go when you are extremely vulnerable, you have a medical condition, and you need help. It is the last place that you go to expect that you are going to be victimized, and that’s why this case is such a tragedy,” he said.
ABC27 reached out to UPMC to see if a third-party agency would be investigating. A spokesperson has said the hospital is fully cooperating with the investigation but is limited in what it can say publicly about the case.
Bragg was denied bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan 9.