Rapes of physically or intellectually incapacitated women keep happening
| FLORIDA: CNN – A woman is suing her daughter’s ex health care provider and three of its employees, alleging the developmentally disabled 23-year-old was raped, impregnated and injured while in their care.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the patient, says National Mentor Healthcare’s Pensacola Cluster failed to take proper care of the woman, who has profound intellectual disabilities, a neurological disorder called Rett syndrome and other physical ailments.
The patient is nonverbal and immobile, the lawsuit says. She also has trouble using her hands and arms.
“Our client’s mother is outraged and devastated by what happened to her daughter, and wants to protect her daughter from abuse and for her daughter to be safe,” attorney James Green Jr. said in a statement Thursday.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case last year and said it couldn’t identify a suspect and had exhausted all leads.
The daughter lived at the Pensacola Cluster intermediate-care facility from September 28, 2010, until February 7. On weekdays, she attended Escambia Westgate School, which is for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, according to the lawsuit.
In late January 2018, Westgate employees who care for the woman observed behavioral changes and physical injuries, specifically bruising on her hip, the lawsuit says. They said she was crying and appeared to be in pain.
The lawsuit says Westgate staff notified Pensacola Cluster in three phone calls and in an email with concerns about injuries to the woman.
Despite the calls, the suit says, the employees of Florida Mentor, which is part of Boston-based National Mentor Healthcare, didn’t report the woman’s injuries to state authorities.
The lawsuit also names Jennifer Prorock, an area director/administrator; Joyce Stokes, director of nursing; and Shaneice Pace, assistant director of nursing. CNN could not reach any of the women for comment.
When the woman was sent to a doctor after the third contact from Westgate, an X-ray was ordered that uncovered a broken hip.
She needed surgery, the court document says. During a pre-surgery check, medical authorities discovered she was pregnant and did a sexual assault exam.
The lawsuit says the patient had a miscarriage, but it doesn’t say when.
The executive director of the Mentor Network, which oversees the Pensacola Cluster, said the facility is cooperating with the investigation and the company is committed to making a positive difference with patients.
Sheriff says kit didn’t find DNA
The sheriff’s office said in a social media post authorities using a sexual assault kit were unable to find someone else’s DNA.
“We are confident that all investigative leads have been exhausted,” the department said on Facebook. Read more.
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