Licensed clinical social worker accused of raping patients at state hospital
San Bernardino, California: The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office announced charges against 63-year-old Christopher Lee Smart on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.
Smart was employed as a licensed clinical social worker at Patton State Hospital. During his time there, multiple patients were identified as victims of sexual abuse.
The charges filed against Smart include five counts of rape of a person incapable of giving consent, two counts of oral copulation of an incompetent person, sexual penetration of an incompetent person and sexual battery of an institutionalized person. He plead not guilty to the charges against him on Thursday, August 4, 2022.
Smart remains in custody in lieu of $2 million bail. His next hearing has been scheduled for September 2, 2022 at 8:30 am at the San Bernardino Superior Courthouse.
The offenses are believed to have taken place between January 2014 and December 2018. The district attorney's office is asking that anyone with additional information contact the DSH-Patton Special Investigator's Office at (909) 425-6846.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Smart had been a licensed clinical social worker in the state of California since 2011. Following his August 3 arrest, he was barred from practicing as a social worker within the state pending the outcome of his trial.
Patton State Hospital houses 1,527 individuals and is staffed by 2,380 employees which provide "around-the-clock care, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, psychiatric technicians, registered nurses, registered dieticians and other clinical and administrative staff."
Patients at the hospital consist primarily of those determined to be incompetent to stand trial, those found not guilty by reason of insanity, and offenders with mental health disorders. These three populations accounted for approximately 94% of the population at the hospital based on the latest data provided by the hospital, which is from November 2016.
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