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Jan Jasper Soriano 08356744
Allegations and Plea
The College alleged that the Member committed an act of professional misconduct in that he was found guilty of offences relevant to his suitability to practise, namely, possession of a dangerous weapon and assault.
The Member admitted to the allegations, and the College and the Member jointly submitted an agreement to the following facts.
On September 13, 2013, the Member engaged in a heated discussion with his partner during which he grabbed his partner by the throat and dragged her to the couch in the living room. He then retrieved a knife from the kitchen, returned to the living room and pointed it at his partner in a stabbing motion but did not touch her with the knife. His partner retreated to her bedroom but did not call the police. The following day, the Member and his partner engaged in a heated argument during which the Member grabbed an object and stated, “I feel like smashing your head in with something.” He then grabbed his partner by the throat and struck her head on the armrest of the couch. The partner retreated to the bedroom and said she was calling the police. The Member stated back, “Well, I’ll slit your throat.” He then kicked down the door and attempted to take the phone from his partner. The police arrived and placed the Member under arrest.
On January 28, 2014, the Member pled guilty to two offences in relation to the incidents that occurred on September 13 and 14, 2014: possession of a dangerous weapon and assault.
On April 2, 2014, the Member was sentenced. He received a conditional discharge and two years’ probation. In addition, he was ordered to have no contact with his partner; to have no possession of weapons; to attend and actively participate in all assessments, counselling or rehabilitative programs directed by his probation officer; and to perform 120 hours of community service. The Member’s DNA was added to the National DNA Data Bank and he was prohibited from owning or carrying a weapon for five years.
On April 11, 2014, the Member self-reported the findings of guilt to the College.
The Panel found that the Member committed professional misconduct as alleged. The Panel concluded that, although the Member did not commit the offences in a work context, they were highly relevant to his suitability to practise. The Panel noted that the Member displayed poor judgment, lack of self-control and a capacity for violent acts, which are in stark contrast to the values of the nursing profession.
Submissions on Order
The College and the Member sought an oral reprimand and a two-month suspension. The Member would be required to complete specified remediation activities in preparation for a series of meetings with a nursing expert, advise the College of his employers, provide employers with a copy of the Panel’s decision and reasons and only practise for an employer who agreed to advise the College if the Member breached the standards of practice of the profession.
The Panel accepted the joint submission as reasonable and in the public interest. The penalty satisfies the principles of general and specific deterrence, remediation and public protection. It sends a message to the Member and the professional membership that threatening and violent behaviour, even outside the work context, is completely unacceptable. Although the Panel was concerned that a two-month suspension was short considering the seriousness of the Member’s conduct, it appreciated the mitigating factors of the case and was reassured that the Member accepted responsibility for his actions in cooperating with both the criminal and professional discipline proceedings and seeking counseling and support following the incidents.