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The original item was published from 12/6/2016 1:01:43 PM to 12/7/2018 12:10:08 AM.

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Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: December 6, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Western State Hospital staffer charged with sex crimes

TACOMA, WA – The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Christopher Conley, 48, with four counts of indecent liberties for allegedly touching female patients at Western State Hospital.

 “Our state hospital should be a safe place,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

On May 8, 2016, Western State Hospital Security was notified that several patients were alleging that a staff member, Conley, had sexual contact with them. An internal investigation was launched, and four patients reported being touched in a sexual way by Conley. The case was turned over to the Lakewood Police Department.

The patients reported Conley bragged to them that he knew the "blind spots" of the cameras on the ward. The investigation showed he was correct about those blind spots and all of the patients identified the same "blind spots" as the locations of the incidents.

All of the patients stated they didn't report Conley's behavior because he allegedly threatened retaliation. They said Conley threatened them with getting their time extended so they would have to stay longer at Western State Hospital.

Investigators also identified witnesses who observed some of the inappropriate touching as well as suggestive and sexual comments Conley allegedly made to patients.

Conley is expected to be arraigned December 16, at 8:30am.

Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].