CLEARFIELD – A Curwensville man has been accused of inappropriately touching patients at a local nursing and rehabilitation facility.
Thomas Rebar Patrick, 68, has been charged by Officer Elliott Neeper of the Lawrence Township police with seven misdemeanor counts of indecent assault without consent of other.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Aug. 14, police received a complaint from an employee about possible sexual misconduct against patients at the Mountain Laurel Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
The employee said she had received information that following Sunday school two days earlier, a male – identified as Tom Patrick – sat down between two female patients. Patrick was a member of the Sunday school group.
Patrick allegedly rubbed up and down one patient’s leg “towards her privacy” and then up her side to touch her breast. She said it happened in the presence of another patient who she didn’t believe had very good memory.
The patient said it was common for Patrick to visit rooms playing his guitar and to spend time with patients after the service. When asked if she had ever observed Patrick touching other patients, she said: “Tom likes to give hugs.”
The day following the incident, the patient said Patrick was in her room looking for his guitar. She said the rest of the group comes in and sings, then leaves, but Patrick “sticks around.” He also reportedly questioned her about where another female patient stays.
When the employee learned of a possible second victim, she went to speak with her. Initially, she commented that she didn’t want to get anyone in trouble and she’d never seen Patrick touch anyone inappropriately.
She was asked if Patrick had ever touched her, and she said he asked if he could touch her breasts. Patrick then allegedly reached underneath her shirt and touched her bare breast.
Afterward, this patient became tearful and said Patrick had also inappropriately touched her breast on Aug. 12 in the Cyber Café. She was upset following her interview and fearful she would get into trouble.
On Aug. 14, police were called by the facility’s staff because Patrick had been observed trying to visit with patients. He was advised to leave, not to return and that police had been contacted.
That same day, Patrick agreed to speak with police with regards to the allegations. He said he wasn’t an employee of the facility but did visit to sing to patients and play guitar at Sunday school services.
He confirmed he didn’t have any reason to visit the facility other than on Sunday. He was then asked if he had inappropriately touched any of the female patients and he said he didn’t want his wife to know what was going on.
Patrick reportedly admitted to inappropriately touching three female patients because he got a “thrill” and sexual gratification from it. He went on to say he thought they liked it and that he was sorry for his actions.