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October 7, 2005

Hospice worker pleads guilty to assault on dying child

From: Rocky Mountain News, CO - Oct 7, 2005

By Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News
October 7, 2005

A 55-year-old hospice worker pleaded guilty today to sexually assaulting a terminally ill 10-year-old girl.

James Philpott, a licensed practical nurse at the Hospice of St. John in Lakewood until he resigned, told police he had sex with the girl because he wanted her to experience pleasure before she died.

Philpott initially was charged with sexually assaulting the girl and an 89-year-old woman at the hospice in 2002 and 2003.

Charges were dismissed involving the elderly woman who had dementia and wasn't sure whether the assault was real or a dream.

Philpott denied having sexual contact with the woman but told police about three incidents of sexual contact with the girl during a one-month period. The girl was blind, deaf and nearly comatose from a severe genetic illlness.

Philpott, an LPN since 1992, began working part time at the hospice in 1998 and joined the full-time staff in 2000. He resigned in July 2004 for reasons unrelated to the sexual assault allegations, according to the hospice.

Philpott was taken into custody after entering his guilty plea.

The judge could sentence Philpott to probation or prison at a hearing set for Nov. 18. Probation would be for 20 years to life. Prison would be from four years to life. Philpott also must register as a sex offender.

Copyright 2005, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.