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Sunday School aide at nursing home accused of inappropriately touching female residents

CLEARFIELD COUNTY — A 68-year-old Curwensville man has been charged with seven counts of indecent assault without consent after police say he inappropriately touched three female residents of a nursing home where he assisted with the Sunday School program.

Thomas Rebar Patrick was charged on August 17, according to a criminal complaint filed by Lawrence Township Police.

Police say a worker at Laurel Nursing Home in Clearfield first reported the alleged misconduct on August 12, when a patient came forward and spoke to the home’s administration. The worker told police that Patrick, a member of the Sunday School group who was not a resident or employee of the home, allegedly sat between two female residents after the Sunday School program. One of the residents said Patrick rubbed his hand up her leg, “toward per privacy,” and touched her breast.

When the resident was asked whether she had seen Patrick touch any other residents inappropriately, the resident allegedly said “Tom likes to give hugs,” according to the criminal complaint.

The first victim told the home employee that Patrick came to her room the next day and allegedly asked for the room number of another resident at the home. When he was given the second resident’s room number, he left a short time later, according to the criminal complaint.

The home’s administration interviewed that second resident, who reported that Patrick visited her that same day. He allegedly asked if he could touch the victim’s breasts, and then reached under her shirt and touched her bare breast.

The second victim reported another incident, in which Patrick allegedly pushed her wheelchair into a cyber cafe at the home and touched her breasts under her shirt again.

Patrick allegedly returned to the home on August 14, police say. Employees found him attempting to visit residents in their room and allegedly told him to leave, indicating that police had been notified.

Police contacted Patrick by phone on August 14 and asked him to come to the station for an interview, according to the criminal complaint. Patrick arrived with his wife, but asked to be interviewed alone. He told police he did not want his wife to know what was going on, according to the criminal complaint.

Patrick then admitted to touching the first victim “three or four times,” but initially claimed it was consensual. He later changed his story to indicate the first time was consensual but the other times were not, police say.

Police say Patrick admitted to touching two other residents’ breasts and legs without consent. When asked why he did it, Patrick allegedly told police he “got a thrill out of it,” and that it provided him sexual gratification. He provided a written statement admitting his actions, according to police.

In his statement, Patrick allegedly admitted to touching three victims and said he thought they liked it. He then apologized and stated to the victims that he was sorry.