RAPE CLAIM AT PILGRIM INVESTIGATED (Transfer of girl, 17, raises procedure issue)

State and local officials have been investigating for the past several weeks whether a 17 year old girl placed at Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center in late February was raped by a male patient in a ward bathroom.  No arrests have been made but the girl's claims have prompted independent reviews by two state agencies, the Office of Mental Health and the Commission on Quality of Care, which are awaiting Suffolk's findings.  The teenager's transfer from a children's psychiatric center in Queens by the state to the Brentwood hospital also has raised serious concerns by advocates about the appropriateness of placing a youth at a hospital that houses mentally ill adults, some of whom are violent.

(Brentwood, New York)