Man charged with sexually assaulting nursing home patient

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Last week, Police say an 87-year old patient was touched inappropriately by a visitor at the Bradford Square Rehabilitation and Nursing center.

That visitor was 84-year old Harrison Blankenship, who was arrested for First Degree Sexual Assault, after police say a staff member from the nursing walked in on the alleged act.

Police reports say a nurse saw Blakenship pushing the patient down the hall into her room, then noticed he didn't come out. The witness says the curtain was pulled closed and when she opened it, she says the suspect sexually abusing the patient.

Blankenship spoke with 27 NEWSFIRST, who says this is all a big misunderstanding. He tells us he was there to see his wife, when another patient in a wheelchair asked him to take her to her room. He said he was patting her shoulder goodbye, when the nurse walked in and got the wrong idea.

This statement was released by the nursing center administrator Lisa Veteto, "As a healthcare provider, we are obligated to follow stringent privacy regulations regarding our current residents and cannot elaborate on any detail regarding this situation. Our center however, took immediate steps to contact authorities, Adult Protective Services and the family members. The resident is safe, but for precautionary reasons we have asked for a complete medical exam. I would like to remind families with loved ones in our care center to contact me personally, if they have any concerns."

Blankenship was released from the Franklin County Regional Jail, but has since been released on his own recognizance. He is a registered sex offender for the rape in the third degree of a 13-year old in 1995. His status is listed as compliant on the registry.

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