Gates, 33, was a psychiatric assistant at Millcreek Residential Facility in Pontotoc when she was accused of a sexual relationship with a then-17-year-old man from Copiah County.
The man was a Millcreek patient, whom Gates visited in Copiah County while he was out on a birthday pass.
Tupelo attorney Rob Laher represented Gates during the trial.
Soon after the teenager was discharged from Millcreek, Gates was fired for exceeding proper staff/patient boundaries, Laher said.
While the pair admitted a sexual relationship, Gates was indicted under a state law making it illegal for a health care worker to have sex with a patient of the same facility.
It also requires proof that the patient is a “vulnerable” person, as defined by statute.
Laher said that during the trial, his side conceded all the elements as true except that the young man was “vulnerable.”
The critical part of the trial was the man’s cross examination, Laher said, where he admitted that he actually invited Gates to his home and gave her directions.
“This displayed his consent to the encounter which goes against him being vulnerable,” Laher said.