Wash. Psychiatric Hospital Employee Charged with Molesting Patients

The employee allegedly threatened retaliation against the patients if they reported his behavior.

A psychiatric employee at a Washington state hospital was charged with molesting four patients Dec. 1.

Christopher Conley was charged with four counts of molesting female patients following an investigation by Washington State Hospital’s security officers, reports seattle.cbslocal.com.

Conley, 47, worked as a psychiatric security attendant until officials began investigating sexual assault claims by two women in May.

The women accused Conley of bragging about knowing the “blind spots” in the psychiatric ward’s video surveillance system. They also claimed Conley threatened them with extending their stays at the ward and gave them candy to allow him to touch them sexually.

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During the investigation, two additional women came forward with similar allegations against Conley. The facility’s security officers reported the case to the Lakewood Police Department after surveillance footage backed up some of the patients’ claims.

A hospital supervisor was also suspended for ten days for failing to report the patients’ abuse allegations.

The alleged victims, some of whom said they didn’t report Conley for fear of retaliation, ranged from 28 to 47.

Conley’s case comes as the 800-bed facility recently signed an agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after federal regulators expressed patient safety concerns.

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