A former employee at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Rossville was arrested and charged with numerous child sex offenses, including the assault of a hospital patient, Baltimore County police announced Monday.
Donald Joseph Benson Jr., 40, has been charged with sexually abusing a minor, possession of child pornography and multiple counts of sexual offenses dating back to 2016, when he was an employee at MedStar Franklin, according to online court records.
“The safety and care of our patients is paramount,” said Debra Schindler, a spokeswoman for Medstar. “We were appalled to learn that one of our associates is alleged to have abused a patient in our care. As soon as we heard, we terminated the associate’s employment and have offered our full cooperation to law enforcement.”
According to charging documents, Benson sexually abused a 15-year-old patient temporarily in his care in 2016.
While executing a search warrant, police found sexually explicit images of a teen, identified by police as a MedStar Franklin patient by her hospital bracelet, police spokeswoman Jennifer Peach said.
The photos appear to have been taken in the hospital, where Benson worked as technician in the procedural care unit, according to charging documents.
The hand shown in the sexually graphic photos, which appeared to have been taken of the patient in her hospital gown, had “identifying marks” that were consistent with Benson’s hand, Peach said.
County detectives investigated Benson, a Nottingham resident, after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Benson was “viewing, downloading and sharing child pornography,” Peach said.
“We were able to confirm that to be true," Peach said.
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Yahoo, Inc. reported an email account accessed through Benson’s home IP address, as well as MedStar Franklin Square’s IP address, to the national center for transmitting more than 300 images of child pornography between August 2015 and December 2019, according to charging documents.
Benson told police in February he was employed at MedStar Franklin Square for 12 years, according to charging documents. He admitted that he had “been involved with child pornography” since he was a teenager, and that he sexually abused the teenage patient, according to the charging statement.
During a police interview with the former patient, she said she was unconscious for the first two days of her stay at MedStar Franklin Square, and did not remember Benson, charging documents state.
Benson is being held without bond and is represented by a public defender, online records show. Benson’s activities while employed at MedStar are still being investigated, according to charging documents.
The former patient recognized herself in the photos, according to the charging documents.
Detectives are asking anyone who may have additional information on this case or any other incidents that Benson may have been involved in to contact detectives by calling the Baltimore County Police Crimes Against Children Unit at 410-853-3650.
This story has been updated with a statement from a MedStar spokeswoman and details from the statement of charges.