Howard County prosecutors drop charges against former counselor

April 23, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Howard County prosecutors dropped child abuse and sexual assault charges this week against a psychiatric nursing counselor formerly employed at Taylor Manor hospital.

A Howard County grand jury indicted Lance E. Griffin, 42, in January on charges of sexually abusing a female patient.

"Well, I believe [the events] didn't occur as she said they did," said John Denholm, Griffin's attorney. "Her credibility would have been zero. That's why they didn't go forward with" the case.

But Assistant State's Attorney Keith Cave said he dropped the charges Tuesday because the witness did not want to continue. "She indicated the events did occur as alleged, but she did not want to go forward and testify," Cave said.

Police alleged that Griffin forced a 17-year-old patient to have sex with him and perform other sexual acts in early September. Griffin was a temporary, part-time counselor.

Griffin, of Randallstown, has returned to work as a corrections officer at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, said his mother, Peggy Griffin.

"He's never been in any trouble," she said yesterday. "He's a good person."

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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