Police investigating alleged rape at psychiatric hospital in N. Charleston

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The North Charleston Police Department is investigating a rape that allegedly happened at the Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Center.

On Thursday at 12:05 a.m., police responded to MUSC in reference to a patient reporting her roommate had been sexually assaulted at the center on 2777 Speissegger Drive.

The victim said she went to bed on Wednesday around 9 p.m. and woke up because her roommate was screaming and yelling at her to get up. Police say when the victim woke up, she way on her stomach with her underwear pulled down.

The roommate reported to police that the victim had been raped while she was sleeping.

The victim said she did not remember the incident because she had taken her sleeping medication.

The roommate said she was sleeping in her bed located next to the door, and the victim was in her bed located in the rear of the room next to the bathroom. The roommate reported she woke up after she heard a man's voice in the room, and thought it was a male tech who worked at the center.

According to a North Charleston police report, the roommate said she began to hear moaning and looked over to see a man on top of the victim.

The roommate told officers she then told the man to get off the victim. An incident report states when the man stood up, the roommate recognized him as a patient at the center.

The roommate reported to investigators that the man then walked over to her and tried to force her into a sex act. The roommate said she refused, got out of her bed and began to push the man out of her room.

A police report states as the man was leaving, he told the roommate,"Please don't tell on me please."

The roommate said the man left the room as he was putting his pants back on.

Investigators say the roommate then pushed a call button at 10:30 p.m. Staff members say when they entered the room, the victim was found on her stomach with her underwear around her feet.

The incident report states the man was located, but was asleep due to medication that staff had given him.

No charges have been filed yet as police continue the investigation.

Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health released the following statement:

The Management and staff of Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health are committed to providing the best possible treatment to its patients and take their safety and well-being very seriously.

Palmetto Lowcountry has cooperated fully with the authorities concerned with this investigation and will continue to do so until its completion. Due to strict patient confidentiality and privacy laws, Palmetto Lowcountry is precluded from discussing the specific details of any individual patient case.

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