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Man charged with rape at psychiatric hospital, issued $200K bond

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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A man accused of raping a patient at the Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Center last week was issued a $200,000 bond during a hearing Friday morning.

Officers arrested 27-year-old Ricardo Cyril Powell, of Gillins Lane, late Thursday and charged him assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.  He was taken to the Charleston County Detention Center.

The investigation began June 13 at 12:05 a.m., when 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 Powell, 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.

Powell was then found at the facility, but he had fallen asleep from medication the staff had given to him, according to the police report.

Court documents released Friday state video from the hospital shows the defendant enter the victims' room and remain inside for about four minutes before exiting with victim following close behind with her arms extended. 

Powell had been at the hospital for about two weeks while she was there, according to the victim who was awake during the alleged rape.

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