Western State Hospital mental health worker faces rape and sexual assault charges

Ronald Maurice Roberts, 51, has been charged with rape and sexual assault charges that allegedly occurred at Western State Hospital, a mental health facility, in Lakewood, Washington.

The Tacoma News Tribune reports that charges against Roberts, who posted $50,000 bail, involved two patients and a former co-worker. Charges against Roberts include “two counts of indecent liberties and one count each of voyeurism, second-degree rape and fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation” according to the report.

Roberts had been accused by two women previously but those charges did not result in any criminal charges or discipline at the Lakewood psychiatric facility. However, when a developmentally delayed teenage girl came forth with a complaint in July, the previous charges were looked into as well and the Pierce Country prosecutors filed charges on all three complaints.

One wonders why the first two complaints were not taken seriously enough to file charges. Was Western negligent in allowing Roberts to continue working with patients when the first allegations were made? Roberts was supposed to be under the supervision of nurses in caring for patients and his job title was described as “mental health technician.”

Did Western State provide due diligence in protecting patients from Roberts? We hope that this case is thoroughly investigated and if procedural changes at Western need to be made, they should be implemented quickly.

In our Medical Malpractice and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect personal injury practice, we have seen cases where caregivers abuse some of our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and the mentally ill. Abuse can be sexual including inappropriate touching, fondling or rape or physical which could include hitting or kicking. We have also seen cases of undue influence where elderly patients or mentally incompetent ones have been coerced to sign documents, give away personal belonging or sign their pension or disability checks away.

If something like this has happened to your loved one, you should contact a personal injury attorney to insure their rights are protected. At The Farber Law Group, we have more than 30 years experience in representing victims of hospital and medical malpractice and nursing home abuse and neglect.

Contact The Farber Law Group for a free and confidential case evaluation.