Vernon Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Pregnant Woman

Police say a man who worked as a nurse at Hartford Hospital sexually assaulted a pregnant woman when she came to his home.

Vernon police have arrested a nurse accused of sexually assaulting a pregnant woman.

Police arrested 26-year-old Robert Tate Wednesday. He was charged with first-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault on a pregnant person, and criminal possession of a firearm/ammunition/electronic defense weapon.

According to police, the investigation began when the victim went to UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester in March for treatment after an alleged sexual assault.

The victim, who was known to Tate, reported that Tate overpowered her and forced her to have sex against her will when she went to his home to speak with him on March 19, 2019. The victim obtained an emergency restraining order against Tate.

According to the arrest warrant application, the victim was 22 and a half weeks pregnant and suffered vaginal bleeding and cramping that she said was the result of an assault.

The warrant states that the victim showed investigators text messages between her and Tate that referenced the assault. She provided a statement to police that read, in part “He said this was a punishment and that he was going to bring me to the basement to tie me up and if I did not go he was going to bring me down there by force.”

The victim told police she told Tate she did not want to have sex multiple times and that she wanted to run away, but she was afraid if she fought to hard he might harm her or the baby.

When investigators interviewed Tate, he said that he spoke to the victim about having sex before she came to his home. He denied using force and claimed the sex was consensual.

Court documents state that Tate was a nurse at Hartford Hospital. The victim told police that he once told her he knew “how to kill someone by mixing two drugs together and injecting it between someone’s toes.” The victim also told police that Tate gave her herpes.

The documents provide details on Tate’s relationships with other women, and at least one told police that he would force to have sex or restrain her during sex despite her saying no. The documents also detail what police described as "manipulative" and "abusive" behavior by Tate toward other women.

Tate was held on a $150,000 bond and is due in court on Thursday.

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