Nurse accused of stealing pain meds is in treatment

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 15, 2011 - 8:00 PM

Sarah Casareto

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A Twin Cities nurse charged with stealing pain medication from a patient who then endured significant pain during a medical procedure missed a court appearance Tuesday because she is in treatment for drug addiction, a court official said.

Sarah M. Casareto, 33, of Forest Lake, is accused of taking some of the powerfully addictive fentanyl that she checked out for patient Larry V. King, 56, of Bloomington, before a routine procedure for kidney stones on Nov. 8 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Casareto has denied the allegation, contending that she was ill with symptoms wrongly interpreted as signs that she had recently taken a narcotic.

Hennepin County District Judge Joseph Klein on Tuesday granted Casareto a second continuance of her initial court appearance. However, Klein warned the defense that he's unlikely to grant a third.

Prosecutor Michael Radmer said the defendant is receiving drug addiction treatment. He asked Judge Klein to issue an arrest warrant for Casareto, but Klein said no warrant would be issued for now.

According to the criminal complaint, Casareto gave King only about a third of the painkiller that had been set aside for the procedure, in which a tube was inserted through his back into a kidney. Before surgery, she allegedly told him to "man up here and take some of the pain."

MATT MCKINNEY

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