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Mental health facility staffer accused of molesting patients in Pinellas Park

Pinellas County
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A staff member has been arrested for molesting and sexually battering patients at a mental health services facility in Pinellas Park.

Police arrested 34-year-old Nicholai Brief on Thursday. The arrest came after officers received reports about multiple sexual battery incidents at Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services on 58th Street North.

Officers say the initial report came in about a staff member engaging in non-consensual sexual activity with multiple patients. During their investigation, police discovered three victims total.

Arrest reports say Brief groped one of the victim’s breasts while she was sleeping and said, “You’re not going to tell anyone, are you?”

Additional arrest reports reveal two separate incidents where women accused Brief of groping their breasts and later contacting them on Facebook for explicit pictures or inappropriate conversation.

Brief is also accused of sexually battering a patient during intake. An arrest report says Brief grabbed the victim’s arm, pushed her into a dark room and against a wall, then put his hand under her dress, sexually battering her.

Pinellas Park police say Brief was in a “position of trust and authority” over the three women, who were all at the facility for mental health help.

Officers arrested Brief at his home in St. Petersburg. He has been charged with one count of sexual battery and three counts of lewd or lascivious molestation committed upon and in the presence of an elderly or disabled person. Police say the mental state of the victims may lead the state attorney’s office to enhance the charges.

Brief’s bond is set at $65,000.

Police are now asking clients at the facility to come forward if they believe they were a victim of any sexual misconduct by Brief. Police can be reached at (727) 369-7864.

Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, representing PEMHS.

In a statement released by PEMHS:

PEMHS has a strict protocol in place regarding any and all reports of this nature, takes these reports seriously, and condemns this type of alleged behavior.  Once PEMHS became aware of these claims, it opened an immediate investigation regarding the incident, terminated Mr. Brief’s employment, and promptly notified appropriate officials.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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