Friday, November 17, 2006

This case is one of the stories in the media last year that inspired FRIDA members to start thinking we needed a women's group to respond to stories like this. Read on. Get pissed off. Join FRIDA. (Next meeting is December 18, 2 to 4 pm at Access Living.)

Former suburban nursing home worker pleads guilty in patient's rape
Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:03 am (PST)
WHEATON, Ill. -- A former suburban Chicago nursing home worker chargedwith raping a profoundly brain-damaged resident who later gave birth changed his plea to guilty Wednesday in DuPage County Circuit Court. Authorities said Reynaldo Brucal Jr., 19, of Schaumburg, raped the23-year-old woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, at the AldenVillage Health Facility for Children and Young Adults in Bloomingdaleearly last year. In accepting the guilty plea to a count of aggravated criminal sexualassault, Circuit Judge George Bakalis said Brucal faces a sentenceranging from 6 to 30 years in prison. Bakalis set a presentencing hearing for Dec. 13, at which time he saidhe would set a sentencing date for sometime in January.The baby's mother, who cannot walk or talk, and her twin sister hadlived at Alden Village since they were 10 but were removed from thefacility when the pregnancy was discovered, five weeks before the babywas born.Bloomingdale police took DNA samples from all the male workers at thenursing home and matched Brucal's to the infant, who was delivered byemergency Caesarean section on July 20, 2005.Brucal, a nurse's aide, worked at Alden Village from September 2004until his arrest Nov. 1, 2005."What I find especially disturbing ... is that he sexually assaulted aseverely handicapped woman who was unable to fight back or to evencommunicate to others what had happened," DuPage County State'sAttorney Joseph E. Birkett said in a statement.The Illinois Department of Public Health fined Alden Village $10,000for lacking oversight and mishandling its investigation of the incident.State officials said the facility failed to conduct a completeinvestigation into the alleged assault, and treated the swelling ofthe woman's abdomen as constipation despite nursing staff reports thatsaid she showed signs of pregnancy.As a result, the woman didn't receive prenatal care and tookanti-convulsive medication until she was seven months pregnant, theagency said.The victim's mother now has custody of the baby, and filed a lawsuitlast year in Cook County against the facility, the management company,her daughter's doctor and Brucal.Copyright © 2006, The Associated Press

Teen admits raping patient - Ex-aide pleads guilty in assault ondisabled womanNovember 16, 2006A former nurse's aide for a Bloomingdale nursing home pleaded guiltyWednesday to raping a profoundly brain-damaged resident who later gavebirth to a daughter.Reynaldo Brucal, 19, faces 6 to 30 years in prison at sentencing forassaulting the 23-year-old woman, who suffers from cerebral palsy andcannot walk or communicate. She was 7 months' pregnant before staffersat the Alden Village Health Facility for Children and Young Adultsnoticed in June 2005. Police were called after doctors confirmed the pregnancy. Her baby was delivered by emergency Caesarean section in July 2005. DNA tests were ordered for all male staff members of the facility andthe results indicated Brucal was a one-in-356 million match to thechild, said DuPage Assistant State's Atty. Robert Berlin. When police confronted Brucal, he initially denied any sexual contact. In November 2005, he confessed, claiming that a latex hospital glovehe improvised as a condom failed, Berlin said. Brucal pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated criminal sexual assault. DuPage County Judge George Bakalis told Brucal, who is Filipino, "I can assure you that after any jail sentence you will be deported."Brucal, a Schaumburg resident, is being held without bond as he awaitssentencing. Bakalis will set the sentencing date Dec. 13, when apresentencing report is due.Brucal never looked toward his parents or the victim's family onWednesday as he answered Bakalis' routine questions. The woman, who is now living in another nursing home with her similarly disabled twinsister, was not present."We're glad he might get his due," said her grandmother, JoElla Gerdes.Looking at photographs of her granddaughter sitting in a wheelchairwith her infant on her lap, Gerdes said: "There's no communication between the two. And my granddaughter just wonders what is this lump on her lap."The victim's mother, Cheryl Hale-Crom, is raising the 16-month-oldchild. Gerdes said her family remains concerned about the child's slow development, saying she has had seizures.The Illinois Department of Public Health fined Alden $10,000 for lackof oversight and mishandling its investigation of the incident. The family has filed a civil lawsuit against the facility.DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett said Brucal "was entrustedwith [the patient's] care. He betrayed that trust by raping her. It isespecially disturbing that he sexually assaulted a severelyhandicapped woman who was unable to fight back or even communicate toothers what had happened."abarnum@tribune.comCopyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune