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Doctors: Accused molester is insane

BRADENTON — Doctors have determined that a convicted sex predator accused of molesting a patient at Manatee Glens Hospital is insane.

Thomas Oliver, 41, had been set to stand trial this week for the reported Dec. 31, 2007, attack, but Circuit Judge Diana Moreland postponed it because three psychologists reported that he is not sane.

Oliver, of Palmetto, is charged with one count of sexual battery on a mentally ill victim.

Assistant State Attorney Jeff Quisenberry said the judge will now review the doctors’ reports and ultimately rule on Oliver’s sanity.

“The court will make a decision at a later date on what to do with him,” Quisenberry said.

As of Monday, a hearing had not been scheduled.

If Moreland rules Oliver is insane, he would be sent to a secured facility.

Moreland on July 16 found Oliver incompetent for trial, and he was sent to a state hospital, then discharged in January, according to court records.

As of Monday, he remained incarcerated at the Manatee County jail.

Oliver’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Peter Belmont, has filed a notice saying that if the case goes to trial, he plans to rely on an insanity defense. He could not be reached for comment on Monday.

According to sheriff’s reports, Oliver molested the woman on New Year’s Eve 2007, one week after being released from a prison after serving three years of a five-year sentence for molesting a 10-year-old girl in Polk County in 2004.

The alleged molestation at Manatee Glens, reportedly witnessed by a nurse, occurred after deputies brought Oliver to the hospital under the Baker Act, which allows those considered to be a danger to themselves or others to be taken into custody.

On Dec. 30, 2007, a deputy went to the Palmetto halfway house where Oliver was living after the owner called to say Oliver was “causing problems,” according to sheriff’s reports. Oliver told the deputy he was thinking about killing himself.

The deputy took Oliver into custody and took him to Manatee Glens but did not tell workers there he was a sexual predator. He was allowed to mingle with other patients, and a day later was reportedly found trying to molest the victim.

The victim filed a lawsuit in June against the medical center.

The woman is alleging negligence on the hospital’s part after the attack.

She claims Manatee Glens operated an unsafe facility and did not look after her safety and welfare by allowing a designated sexual predator to have access to her and other patients, according to the four-page lawsuit filed in Bradenton.

The suit, which names Manatee Glens Corp. as the defendant, seeks more than $15,000 in damages.

Manatee Glens Chief Operating Officer Deborah Kostroun has said she could not comment on a pending lawsuit.