Smyrna man charged with sex offenses in counseling job

Ronald C. Lake

Ronald W. Lake

DELAWARE CITY — A 55-year-old Smyrna man was charged with sex offenses while counseling at a residential facility in early 2016, police said.

Ronald W. Lake, of Streamside Circle, was arrested by Delaware City Police last Tuesday after a seven-month investigation into allegations while working at Psychotherapeutic Services at 171 New Castle Avenue.

Mr. Lake was charged with first-degree rape, third-degree unlawful sexual contact (three counts), first-degree attempted rape, second-degree kidpapping, sexual extortion (two counts), sexual harassment (two counts), third-degree unlawful sexual contact, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, and harassment (two counts).

Police said investigation began on March 28 after contact by Psychotherapeutic Services officials reporting possible sexual assaults within the facility.

Mr. Lake was held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna after failing to initially post $279,000 cash bail.

According to police in an arrest affidavit, two persons identified Mr. Lake as a suspect in an alleged sexual assault of a patient during a meeting on March 28.

“Also during the meeting on March 28 … both men reported they believed through information they received that [Mr. Lake] had sexually assaulted at least two and possibly more female
inpatients while acting in his official capacity as a counselor at the facility …,” police wrote in an affidavit.

According to a series of interviews, police found that Mr. Lake allegedly made several unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate comments, threatening at one point to have a patient removed from the program if she did no comply with his wishes.

Charges listed an alleged rape incident on March 23 involving a bed in the facility.

Police said Mr. Lake allegedly told one patient “she had the perfect body for a stripper” and “if I had seen that [body part] while driving, I would have had a collision.”

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