Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sexual abuse of women with developmental disabilities

Sadly, there have been lots of cases of sexual abuse against women with developmental disabilities in the news this past week; here are but a few of them:

Syracuse, New York - WSYR reports that a man has been charged with a felony count of criminal sex act in connection with the sexual abuse of a female patient with developmental disabilities at Crouse Hospital. Remarkably, the man, 23-year-old Jamison Adist was hired as a "safety companion" for the woman. A hospital spokesman says that from now on, all safety companions will be matched with a person of the same gender.

Moundsville, West Virginia - A man has been senteced to 5 years in jail in connection with the sexual assault of a 57-year-old women with developmental disabilities at the Dora Allietta Memorial Home where she was a resident, the Charleston Gazette reports. Roy Reed Sheldon, who reportedly lived at the facility with his wife (who worked there), pleaded guilty on Monday to third-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual abuse and indecent exposure.

Sparks, Nevada - KRNV reports that a man charged in connection with the rape of a 13-year-old girl with developmental disabilities at the Sparks Marina last July pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. Richard Bunch, 49, is charged with one count of sexual assault of a child.

Fresno - On October 1, The Fresno Bee reported the arrest of a 57-year-old man for sexually assaulting a 45-year-old woman with developmental disabiities on the bus he was driving. The man, Gilbert Chavez, drove the bus for the Safe Harbor Adult Care Center in Fresno. It is alleged that he assaulted the woman several times on the bus before picking up other Safe Harbor Clients. He remains in jail on $100,000 bail.

UPDATE: CBS reports on October 2 that an administrator for the Safe Harbor Adult Care Center is also being investigated in connection with the assault. According to the Fresno County Sheriff's Department, Ms Joanie Ballantyne is being investigated for witholding evidence about the crime from police.

Riverside - On October 2, KTLA reported that a 57-year-old man has been convicted of 38 sexual assault- related charges in connection with the sexual assault of as many as 11 homeless women with developmental disabilities over a four-year period. According to prosecutors, 57-year-old Peter Frances Milosavejevic invited the women, whose ages range from 30 to 59, into his home on the pretext of providing them with shelter and then sexually abused them. Remarkably, Milosavejevic was paroled in 2000 after serving 5 years of a 13-year sentence for the brutal assault of a woman with developmental disabilities in 1993. Milosavjevic will be sentenced on November 21 and faces life prison.

Yeadon, Philadelphia - A man charged in connection with raping a 70-year-old woman with developmental disabilities waived a preliminary hearing last Friday, the Delco Times reports. In addition to felony rape of a mentally disabled person, 46-year-old Timothy Patrick White, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, simple assault, aggravated assault, indecent assault, and reckless endangerment. The woman, according to the affidavit, has multiple health issues, including Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and was not able to communicate what happened to her. White, who was linked to the crime by DNA, remains in prison in lieu of $200,000 bail, and is schedule to be formally arraigned on November 6.