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A former Lower Windsor Township health care worker, who had previously been accused of masturbating in front of two physically disabled girls in his care, has voluntarily surrendered his nursing license.

Stephen "Steve" Patterson surrendered his license, which had been suspended since February 2015, in April, according to state Board of Nursing order.

According to the order, Patterson is not allowed to apply for reactivation, renewal, re-issuance or reinstatement of his license without specific authorization from the board.

The West York Borough Police Department had charged Patterson with counts of open lewdness, unlawful contact with a minor and disorderly conduct in February 2015, but those charges were later dropped by the York County District Attorney's Office, according to the board's order.

Former York County deputy prosecutor Diana Spurlin, now in private practice, was in charge of prosecuting Patterson. She said she was forced to withdraw the charges because she didn’t believe she could prove any of them beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Patterson's attorney, Bernard Ilkhanoff, did not immediately return a request for comment on why Patterson elected to surrender his license.

The accusations: According to the police's affidavit, the charges had stemmed from an incident on Feb. 9, 2015, when Patterson was serving as the house nurse for two physically disabled 2-year-old girls, who were on breathing and feeding machines.

A man, who identified himself as the girls' non-biological father, told West York Police that he and his girlfriend were in bed about 12:30 a.m. when when they heard moaning noises coming from downstairs, charging documents state.

The father got out of bed to investigate the noise and saw Patterson standing by the girls' cribs, with his hand inside his scrubs, and he appeared to be masturbating, according to charging documents.

The father said he asked Patterson what he was doing, and the health care worker removed his hand and said he was doing stomach crunches, the documents state.

In an interview with an investigator, Patterson denied ever having his hand in his scrubs and said he had been doing crunches and sit ups because he was in the National Guard and getting ready for his PT test, according to charging documents.

The father also told police that others, including another in-house nurse, had told him that Patterson had been kissing his daughters on the lips, documents state.

Patterson originally denied the kissing allegations but later said he did it "because of speech therapy for the girls," but he also admitted that he was not a speech therapist, the documents state.

Patterson told the investigator that part of his training is to kiss girls on the lips. He also said he had never even changed the girls' diapers, according to charging documents.

The other in-home nurse, when interviewed by the investigator, said that kissing girls on the lips was "absolutely not" part of their training, and that Patterson had changed the girls' diapers, documents state.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.

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