The family of a 23-year-old woman with severe disabilities at a Florida healthcare facility have alleged that she was raped and impregnated before suffering a miscarriage.
ABC News reports that the family of the patient has filed a lawsuit against National Mentor Healthcare LLC, which operates that Pensacola Cluster facility where the woman was a patient, seeking damages of $15,000 over allegations that the woman was sexually assaulted, resulting in a pregnancy.
According to documents obtained by ABC News, the woman was living at the facility from September 28, 2010 to February 7, 2018.
The patient is reportedly severely disabled, and cannot speak or move much of her body. WKRG reports that the lawsuit states the patient attended a school for disabled children and young adults for an unspecified time each weekday, and was otherwise under the care and supervision of staff at the Pensacola Cluster facility.
The documents say that staff at the school first observed injuries to the patient in January 2018. According to the lawsuit, she exhibited bruising on her hip as well as behavioral changes. And though the school staff reportedly notified the healthcare facility about their observations, Pensacola Cluster did not report the suspected abuse or provide medical treatment for the alleged injuries, which included a broken hip, according to the documents.
Ultimately, the patient’s caregivers concluded the woman had been raped, and an examination allegedly showed her to be pregnant. The patient later had a miscarriage, the documents claim.
However, authorities in Florida have not been able to confirm a sexual assault or a pregnancy took place.
“Every available investigative technique was utilized to capture evidence from the pregnancy, which could be analyzed, to link to a suspect, but it all returned negative for foreign DNA,” After extensive review and consultation with the state attorney and DCF (Florida Department of Children and Families), we are confident that all investigative leads have been exhausted.”
It is unclear if any investigation will continue.
On December 29, a 29-year-old patient in a persistent vegetative state at an Arizona nursing facility gave birth after an apparent rape. Authorities in Phoenix are investigating the facility and have issued a search warrant for DNA samples of male staffers. At this time, there have been no reported suspects or disciplinary action taken against any employees in connection to the rape investigation.