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Former hospital employee pleads guilty to sexually assaulting underage patient

Hospital Hallway
Posted at 2:29 PM, May 04, 2022

BALTIMORE — A former employee at Franklin Square Hospital has pleaded guilty to photographing himself while sexually assaulting an unconscious 15-year-old patient.

A U.S. judge sentenced him to 18 years in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

Donald Benson confessed to committing the crimes after the girl's father had stepped out of the hospital room to take a phone call.

At the time, federal prosecutors say Benson was working at the hospital as a patient sitter.

The incident itself occurred on September 18, 2016.

But it wasn't until December 2019 when authorities were made aware of Benson's actions.

That's when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a report about child pornography being detected on Benson’s personal email account.

He reportedly had sent the photos he took of himself assaulting the underage teen to that account.

RELATED: Former hospital employee accused of sexually abusing unconscious teen patient

On February 6, 2020, investigators searched Benson’s home and recovered various electronic devices that contained hundreds of files of suspected child porn that dated all the way back to 1999.

After learning about what happened, the hospital said Benson was immediately fired.

"The safety and care of our patients is paramount. We were appalled to learn that one of our associates is alleged to have abused a patient in our care," the hospital said in a February 2020 statement. "As soon as we heard, we terminated the associate’s employment and have offered our full cooperation to law enforcement."

Baltimore County Police initially charged Benson locally, but the State's Attorney's Office decided to drop those charges so that the feds could step in and take over the case.