A psychologist at the Maryland House of Correction Annex was sexually assaulted yesterday in her office, allegedly by a convicted rapist on a cleaning detail.
The woman, 44, was working in her office of the maximum-security Jessup prison about 3 p.m. when the inmate entered her office, said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., a spokesman for the state prison system.
"He sat on a chair next to her desk. A conversation ensued. She got up to leave and that's when the attack occurred," Mr. Sipes said last night. He declined to further describe her injuries.
After the attack, the psychologist hit an alarm button on the wall that brought officers to her aid. She was taken to North Arundel Hospital, where she was in stable condition last night, Mr. Sipes said.
The psychologist had worked at the 1,460-inmate prison since it opened in 1991, Mr. Sipes said. She often worked alone in her office, and was accustomed to "one-on-one contact" with inmates.
"She had counseled him on a number of occasions," Mr. Sipes said.
The 29-year-old inmate, from the Rockville area, was sentenced in 1983 to 50 years in prison for multiple counts of rape and sexual offenses stemming from an attack in Silver Spring. Officials declined to release his name last night, pending formal charges.
Mr. Sipes said the inmate had been no infractions for the past three years. He was being held last night in a segregation unit pending transfer to the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center.
A correctional officer who works at the annex said the psychologist had received letters from the inmate expressing the wish to have sex with her, and that she had reported those letters to security officials at the prison. The officer, who asked not be identified, said the inmate had also told other prisoners he planned to rape the woman.
Mr. Sipes said he had not heard of the woman being threatened and could not confirm that account.