Nurse Accused Of Sexually Abusing Teenage Patient

Her job was to care for people who need help but now that nurse is in jail accused of sexually abusing a former patient. Police say the woman, Barbara T. Pielack and her boyfriend, James R. Thornton, were both arrested.

The Trillium Center at Baptist Regional Medical Center is where troubled teens go to get help. But last spring police say a 14 year old started a closer than normal relationship with her nurse, Barbara Pielack.

"Accommodating person, very friendly, always out and about. She seemed like a nice lady," said former neighbor Arthur Shepherd.

Police say once the teenager's treatment was done, Pielack took the young girl home with her. That's when the 57 year old woman and her 64 year old live in boyfriend allegedly sexually abused the young girl at least 12 times from May to August.

"That I never thought they would do anything like that in my wildest dreams. Just never," said former neighbor Marilyn Baker.

"It's devastating in the community," Shepherd said.

Arthur Shephard says he first thought Pielack brought the girl home as part of her treatment.

"Never spoke of either one doing anything to her. I talked to the girl, my sons talked to the girl," Shephard said.

Police say once the pair learned they were under investigation, they headed for Georgia and once they got there, Pielack got another job at a hospital again as a nurse. That was in November. They were indicted in December and police spent four months trying to find them.

"Sometimes it takes awhile to find these people when they run from jurisdiction and it took from December to February to locate their whereabouts," said Trooper Don Trosper.

The pair is only accused of abusing one teenager, but court records say that Pielack allegedly used her role as nurse to recruit children for her sexual pleasure.

Pielack and Thornton are in jail on a $100,000 cash bond and will be arraigned in Laurel County Circuit Court April 23rd.

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