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Former Las Vegas children’s hospital worker accused of lewdness, abuse

Updated July 8, 2020 - 5:16 pm

Las Vegas police last month arrested a mental health technician from a local children’s psychiatric hospital on charges of lewdness and child abuse after he was accused of inappropriate conduct with patients.

Joseph Wilson, 37, worked at Desert Willow Treatment Center when he was accused of showing a patient nude photographs of himself, according to a recently released arrest report. One patient told police he witnessed the incident through a crack in a door while Wilson was in a girl’s room.

When police interviewed the girl, she denied the accusations but recanted her statement two days later. She said Wilson showed her the photos and kissed her two separate times.

The girl’s dad said that she later admitted to him what happened as well, though she initially lied because she didn’t want him to think it was her fault or think that she was promiscuous, the report said. The dad told police he saw Wilson at Walmart with his wife and son one day and “accused Joseph openly and publicly for molesting his daughter,” the report said.

Wilson’s employment at the facility was terminated on March 2, according to the report. Neither Desert Willow Treatment Center nor the Department of Child and Family Services responded to requests for comment.

After Wilson’s termination, at least two other patients came forward with allegations against him, according to the report.

One accused Wilson of slapping her butt and grabbing her pants near her inner thigh to pull her closer to his body, telling her not to be scared, the report said. She claimed that Wilson was always flirty with her.

The other accused Wilson of kissing her twice, once in the kitchen and once in her room. She said she told him to stop, and when he asked if she was OK with it, she said no, according to the report.

The girls said they were afraid to report Wilson because they were scared of not being believed and making the situation worse, the report said.

Another employee at the center also accused Wilson of inappropriate conduct. She said he “frequently hinted (at) sexual scenarios” in front of other employees and patients.

“Just prior to leaving for her wedding and honeymoon, Joseph stated she would come back pregnant and he would attend the wedding if there were ‘hot girls’ in attendance as well,” the report said. “Joseph also made comments about liking (female employees’) body types.”

Some of the patients claimed that another employee at the center knew about the accusations about Wilson and helped pass messages from him to the patients after he was fired, the report said. Police were unable to contact that employee.

When officers interviewed Wilson, he denied all accusations. He said he doesn’t have anything inappropriate on his phone and is willing to provide his phone to law enforcement if necessary, the report said.

Police served a search warrant on Wilson’s home on June 26 and retrieved his phone and laptop, which were submitted for analysis. The report did not say whether any inappropriate material was found.

Wilson was arrested June 26 and booked into the Clark County Detention Center on four charges of lewdness committed by a person over 18 with a child 14 or 15, and two charges of child abuse, jail records show. He is expected in court on Aug. 6.

Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter.

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