Hospital official accused of child sexual abuse leaves Yale New Haven

A healthcare official accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenager at a church decades ago has left his position at Yale (Conn.) New Haven Health, health system officials confirmed.

Russell Hullstrung, RN, 55, a director of e-learning with Yale New Haven Health, is being sued for allegedly abusing a teenager at the United Methodist Church of Woodbury (N.Y.) in the 1980s, Newsday reported Oct. 2. 

"While we do not comment on personnel matters, we can confirm that Mr. Hullstrung is no longer employed by the health system," Yale New Haven Health said in a statement shared with Becker's

The health system declined to answer further questions, including about the timeline of the departure. Mr. Hullstrung could not be reached for comment by Newsday, and his attorney declined to comment when reached by the publication. Attorneys and a spokesperson for the United Methodist Church did not return messages from Newsday seeking comment. 

Mr. Hullstrung is accused of abusing Kristian Chestnut and his two brothers, according to the family, Newsday reported. Mr. Chestnut filed a lawsuit against the United Methodist Church while his two brothers settled with the church.

Mr. Chestnut, 44, filed a lawsuit against the church two years ago. The lawsuit, filed under the New York State Child Victims Act, does not name Mr. Hullstrung, but the lawsuit against the church includes allegations against him, according to Newsday.

The New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church previously told Newsday it would not comment on the case but emphasized its committment to preventing sexual abuse of children.

Mr. Chestnut told Newsday he was relieved that Mr. Hullstrung no longer works for Yale New Haven.

"I was shocked to learn that the man who raped me as a child, and abused many others, was working in a hospital," Mr. Chestnut said. "It is gratifying to know that Russell is no longer in a position to harm others under the authority of the United Methodist Church or the Yale Hospital."

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