Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dropped sexual assault charge spurs calls for changes in the laws concerning sexual relations between caregivers and their patients

Kansas City, Missouri - The prosecutor in this case, which is reported here, argues that sexual relations between a caregiver and a patient should be outlawed. Some of the comments in the discussion following the article are in agreement. I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Here is an extract from the story:

A nurse’s aide accused of sexually assaulting a severelyrain-damaged patient won’t be prosecuted because the woman could have been capable of consent, Johnson County prosecutors say.

Although a doctor said the woman in her 40s had the mental capacity of a 3-year-old, she could have met the requirements for consent under Kansas law, assistant prosecutor Michael McElhinney said at a court hearing Monday.

The prosecutor’s office dropped a sodomy charge that had been filed against Brent A. Wheeler, 38, of Lawrence. He formerly worked at a Gardner rehabilitation hospital where the incident allegedly took place.

The case illustrates the difficulty of prosecuting cases in which the victim has a mental disability, and some people are calling for a law change that would outlaw sexual relations between caregivers and their patients.

The story in full is here.