The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

Teen gets 36 years for raping mental health worker

Image by Gìpics via Flickr

Here’s an article that causes me to pause and I ended up with more questions than I started out with.  Maybe things are done differently in Chicago, but what is a young woman doing driving this resident alone in a car?  I’m used to there being two staff at all times with any adolescent patient who is going off campus.  That has always been for the protection of the resident as well as for the protection of the staff.  What happened here should be setting off alarms all over the Chicago area.

Then you read more and see that this particular resident had a history of both aggressive behavior and impaired mental capacity.  This alone should have precluded this resident being alone in a vehicle driven by a young woman.  Where is the protections that this young woman should have had?  Who was there to help protect her?  How could this situation have been in this young man’s best interest?  I have many more questions and no answers.  Maybe you know more about this or maybe you have other experiences and would like to share them here.  I am open to discussion, but I will never agree that this situation was done correctly or safely for either of the persons involved.


A 16-year-old former resident of a Streamwood behavioral center was sentenced to 36 years in prison today for attacking and raping a young mental health worker who was driving him home in 2008.

Ronald Patterson, who was 15 at the time of the attack and a ward of the state, declined to speak at the sentencing hearing before Judge Ellen Beth Mandeltort in the Rolling Meadows branch of Cook County Circuit Court.  Patterson was convicted earlier this year of aggravated criminal sexual assault for the attack on a 25-year-old female health technician employed by the John Costigan Center.

Mandeltort sentenced Patterson to 12 years for each of three counts of the Class X felony.

The victim was driving Patterson back to the center in December 2008 following a meeting with his adoptive parents when he coerced her to pull into a Schaumburg parking lot. He forced her into a rear seat, ripped off her clothes and assaulted her, prosecutors said.

Assistant Public Defender Larry Kugler asked for the minimum sentence of six years on each count, arguing that Patterson had been mentally troubled and on medications since the age of 4 and has an IQ of 77.

Prosecutor Mike Andre asked for a long sentence, noting that Patterson had numerous violent episodes during his stay at the center and that, in spite of his youth, represented “every woman’s worst nightmare.”

In handing down the sentence, Mandeltort said she found none of the mitigating factors in Illinois sentencing guidelines applied to Patterson’s case. She could have sentenced him to 90 years in prison, the maximum.

Kugler filed a motion for a review of the sentence on May 27.

— George Houde

Here is the link to the original article

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May 21, 2010 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , ,

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shirley Williams, Shirley Williams. Shirley Williams said: Teen gets 36 years for raping mental health worker: Image by Gìpics via Flickr Here’s an article that causes … […]

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