Patient reports rape at psychiatric hospital

April 21, 2008 5:30:28 AM PDT
Delaware State Police are investigating the alleged rape of a female patient inside what is regarded as the most secure building at the Delaware Psychiatric Center.

The investigation began after the woman tried to hang herself with a bed sheet. The woman told a counselor she attempted suicide because she had been raped by a male patient with a history of violence inside the hospital's Mitchell building. Hospital employees tell The (Wilmington) News Journal the same man last year punched a male nurse in the face, breaking bones around his eye.

Officials say that days before the rape, the man had consensual sex with another female patient who eluded sleeping staffers for the tryst. All three patients are being screened for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Patient safety is one focus of an ongoing investigation of the hospital by the U.S. Justice Department.

Information from: The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal,