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Brackett hearing postponed

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By Bob White

By BOB WHITE

bwhite@thenewsenterprise.com

ELIZABETHTOWN — A Vine Grove woman accused of sexually abusing a young female mental health patient did not appear in court Monday as scheduled, but an attorney representing her arranged for a pretrial conference later this month for the misdemeanor charge against his clien.

JoAnne Elizabeth Parkes-Brackett, 43, no longer works at Lincoln Trail Behavioral Health’s Willows program.

According to hospital officials, she left the hospital after sexual abuse allegations arose in May.

The parents of one patient said Brackett touched their daughter sexually and without consent during a routine strip search at the hospital after the teen returned from a home visit Mother’s Day weekend.

Two months after the accusations surfaced, a Radcliff detective obtained a warrant for Brackett’s arrest, but was unable to serve that warrant because Brackett “fled” to Canada, police said.

Brackett surrendered to Hardin District Court officials Friday and remains free on a $250 bond posted by a family member. She was not arrested or jailed.

Brackett was scheduled for arraignment Monday in Hardin District Court Judge Kimberly Winkenhofer-Shumate’s courtroom. Brackett is now scheduled for a pretrial conference Sept. 29.

Radcliff Police spokesman Bryce Shumate, the judge’s husband, said Friday he was surprised at Brackett’s surrender because she had told police she would not be returning from Canada due to a high-risk pregnancy.

Mark and Sandra Christie, the parents of the patient who claimed abuse, made a drive from Philpot, near Owensboro, to Hardin District Court for Monday’s scheduled hearing. They said they want additional charges against Brackett to be filed in connection to allegations made by other young at Lincoln Trail Behavioral Hospital.

Bob White can be reached at (270) 505-1750.