Worker Not Guilty Of Prison Assault

Friday, November 18, 2011 – Steve Fermier and Associated Press
A former staff member at the state’s maximum-security psychiatric hospital has been acquitted of charges she assaulted a patient.

56-year-old Rita Ward was found not guilty of assaulting 25-year-old Lori Shilling at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup.

Shilling claimed that Ward was one of two hospital workers who forcibly dragged her to her room in June of 2010.

Jurors in the case were shown security video of the incident, but one juror told the Sun that the video wasn’t clear enough to determine whether Shilling was forcibly dragged to her room.

Leadership of Perkins changed recently after several deaths attributed to patient-on-patient violence.

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