A mentally disabled patient man brutally raped a 71-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease at an assisted living facility. The man, who was found naked in the woman's bed, told investigators he just "wanted some sex." Both were patients of the same wing of the facility. According to the facility, the man was in the process of being discharged for "unruly behavior" before the rape occurred. He had 11 prior arrests ranging from possession of cocaine to assault and vandalism and, according to another patient, "always talked about having sex with women." He also had a chronic mental instability The facility has a license to care for mental health patients, as well as assisted living patients.
Investigation of the rape revealed rampant neglect and abuse: patients with Alzheimer's and dementia were often locked in their rooms; the facility was not properly staffed and patients were not being properly supervised when they wandered within the facility from room to room; staff was verbally abusive to the patients; the facility's owner intentionally destroyed the handicap access at the facility's front door; patients weren't being fed; the facility did not keep enough personal medical supplies like diapers on hand; and, staff cleaned patients who soiled themselves with industrial paper towels. The investigation resulted in 63 violations, which reportedly "had been cleared up" since the investigation. Read more about the investigation.
My heart goes out to the rape victim and her family. The memories of a brutal attack and rape will never leave them. But my heart also goes out to the attacker and his family. It's obvious that with a chronic mental illness, a long history of criminal behavior, and a preoccupation with sex, this man should never have been a patient at this facility -- much less on the same wing as a demented and defenseless 71 year-old female. The facility failed them all by admitting the man as a patient, keeping him at the facility long enough to demonstrate a history of "unruly behavior," placing him on a wing with other vulnerable patients, and failing to supervise him.
According to the article, the facility claims it was trying to discharge the man when the attack occurred, but was unable to remove him from the facility right away because of a mandatory 45-day discharge period. My response? Ridiculous! If any patient of any facility -- whether a nursing home or an assisted living facility --poses a risk of immediate harm to himself or other patients, every state's law permits the facility to discharge the patient immediately. I can't say it better than those involved. As the attacker's mother told reporters, the facility did not provide proper supervision. ''There are two victims. [My son] is a victim." As the attacker's lawyer added: ``It seems to be a shame they weren't watching these people closer.''
Posted on Thu, January 17, 2008
by Robert Carter