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Man charged with raping fellow nursing-home patient

March 05, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — A patient at NMS Healthcare on Marsh Pike has been charged with second-degree rape after he allegedly assaulted an 89-year-old female patient at the nursing home Friday, according to Washington County District Court records.

Lamont Patrick Stafford, 38, was being held Monday in the Washington County Detention Center on $100,000 bond, a jail spokeswoman said. Stafford also is charged with second- and third-degree sex offense and second-degree assault, according to court records.

Deputy Timothy L. Atwell of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office wrote in the statement of probable cause that he responded to NMS Healthcare at 14014 Marsh Pike on Friday for a reported sex offense and talked to Barbara Ellen Sweeney, the facility’s nursing director.

Sweeney told Atwell she was contacted at about 8:10 a.m. Friday by one of her floor technicians, who told Sweeney that he found Stafford on top of the woman in her room, according to court records.

Stafford, who was naked, was removed from the bed, court records show.

Sweeney told Atwell she spoke with Stafford after he was removed from the room and clothed. Sweeney said when she asked Stafford about the incident, he responded, “I just had to have sex,” according to court records.

Sweeney said Stafford, of 13508 Gullivers Trail in Bowie, Md., had been at the facility for five days, so she didn’t know much about him or his history, court records show.

Sweeney told Atwell she checked Stafford’s medical referral record and determined he is competent to make decisions based on right and wrong, according to court records.

Atwell wrote that he made contact with Stafford at NMS Healthcare. After asking Stafford his name, he responded, “I am the Messiah, Jesus Christ,” records show.

The victim, who was taken to Meritus Medical Center for examination, suffers from dementia and was not able to answer any questions about the incident, according to court records.

Sweeney told Atwell the victim receives total care at NMS Healthcare and is not capable of performing any tasks on her own, court records show.

Jeff Renzulli, general counsel for NMS Healthcare, said Monday afternoon that the facility is cooperating fully with authorities in the case. Renzulli said he could not comment further because of patient privacy laws.

NMS Healthcare provides 24-hour nursing care, inpatient rehabilitation therapies and a variety of other specialized medical services, according to its website.

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