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Ex-York Hospital worker guilty of 'upskirting' and child porn possession

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Benjamin Rice

A former York Hospital pharmacy employee caught using his cellphone to "upskirt" a teenage girl has pleaded guilty to some charges against him, including possession of child pornography.

Benjamin Edward Adam Rice, 31, of Gables View Lane in Felton, pleaded guilty Wednesday, Dec. 11, to the third-degree felony of child pornography and the third-degree misdemeanor of invasion of privacy, according to court records.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to drop three counts of possessing child pornography and one count of intercepting communications — all felonies.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook on Feb. 25, according to court records.

York Area Regional Police said Rice was at the Great American Saloon on Dairyland Square in York Township about 7:30 p.m. June 29, 2018, when he held his phone down at crotch level and took an "upskirt" photo of the teenager who was serving him.

He was caught on surveillance slouching down and manipulating his phone under her skirt, according to police.

Cpl. Daniel Miller wrote in charging documents that he spoke to Rice at the restaurant and told him about what was seen on the footage.

When he was told he was caught on video, Rice began to "visibly shake," police said. 

He was taken to the police station, where he admitted to police that he took the photo, prompting authorities to seize his phone, court documents state.

Phone searched: A search of the phone found four images of child pornography as well as other secret audio and video recordings, some of which were taken at York Hospital, according to court documents.

Rice had more than 258 gigabytes of data on his phone, including secret recordings, upskirting photos and adult pornography downloads and recordings, court documents state. 

There were also numerous photos and recordings of minor children — clothed — in which Rice zoomed in on their backsides, according to authorities.

He also had secret audio and video recordings from York Hospital, according to police.

In April, WellSpan spokesman Ryan Coyle said that Rice was a pharmacy technician at WellSpan Pharmacy starting in 2017 and ending Dec. 19, 2018. He was fired the day after WellSpan officials learned of the police investigation, Coyle has said.

During a police interview, Rice admitted to upskirting and videoing unsuspecting women for his sexual gratification, according to court document.

His defense attorney, Suzanne Smith, could not be reached for comment Thursday, Dec. 12.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.