EASTON — A former Easton hospital employee accused of raping an unconscious patient and stealing money and credit card information from several others during his employment will stand trial for theft in December after his initial trial, set for Monday, Sept. 28, was postponed.
A judge agreed to postpone the trial for ex-University of Maryland Shore Medical Center employee Travis K. Brooks at the request of his attorney, Andrew Cochran, whom Brooks recently hired to represent him in the case. Cochran said he had a prior obligation and would not be able to make the Sept. 28 trial.
Brooks, 35, now is expected to appear on Dec. 21 and 22 in Talbot County District Court for three separate trials stemming from the same months-long theft scheme he is alleged to have carried out at the hospital between December 2019 and April 2020.
Easton Police Department detectives, through surveillance footage, patient reports and Brooks’s cellphone photos, discovered at least seven victims of Brooks’s alleged thefts, according to charging documents.
Police said Brooks verbally confessed to stealing patients’ cash and credit card information after transporting them to undergo procedures at different locations throughout the hospital. Brooks reportedly told police he would return to the patients’ rooms and “rummage through their items to write down their credit card numbers and take any money they might have.”
Brooks’s employment with the hospital was terminated in April after Easton Police Department officers arrested and charged him in connection with the thefts, according to a statement from Shore Regional Health CEO Ken Kozel.
Brooks was released from jail on a $5,000 unsecured bond on April 15 but was arrested again in August after detectives’ search of Google applications associated with Brooks’s email address led them to uncover purchases Brooks allegedly made after his release using stolen credit card information police had not previously detected on Brooks’s phone.
Police said they issued a warrant for data within the Google applications in order to uncover files that might have been deleted from Brooks’s device but still would be accessible elsewhere. The data search not only led investigators to discover purchases and additional credit card information, it also uncovered a two-minute video police say shows an unconscious patient’s naked vaginal area.
Detectives determined the video was taken inside an employee elevator in the Easton hospital by a Black male wearing blue scrubs. Police identified the patient and confirmed Brooks had access to her on the date the video was captured, according to police reports.
Brooks was charged with second-degree rape, third- and fourth-degree sex offense, vulnerable adult abuse and second-degree assault. Talbot District Judge Karen Ketterman on Aug. 12 ordered Brooks held without bond at the Talbot County Detention Center.
Ketterman said she was “very concerned” about Brooks being “a danger to the community.” A preliminary hearing in the rape case is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Oct. 6, online court records show.
In connection with the alleged thefts, Brooks is cumulatively facing nine counts of stealing another’s credit card, 16 counts of theft less than $100, two counts of theft valued between $100 and $1,500, and two counts of scheming to steal between $100 to $1,500, according to charging documents.