Home Sexual Health Two women allege sexual abuse at a West Palm Beach hospital

Two women allege sexual abuse at a West Palm Beach hospital

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Two women have reported allegations of sexual abuse by a former employee at a local hospital.According to two separate reports filed with West Palm Beach Police and obtained by WPBF 25 News, the women were undergoing treatment at the Institute for Mental Health at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.Dwana Mitchell told WPBF 25’s Tiffany Kenney that she ended up in the mental health facility in December 2020. Mitchell, who has been homeless for seven months, told Kenney she was at risk of hurting herself and others. Mitchell said just a few days before Christmas she was sexually abused by the employee.According to the West Palm Beach Police report, the suspect sexually abused Mitchell in the shower and then in a vacant room next to Mitchell’s room. Mitchell told Kenney, “So at that point, I didn’t really know what to do because I mean I was in a situation where I didn’t know what to do.” According to police investigators, surveillance video from inside the mental health facility shows the staff member going into Mitchell’s room and then Mitchell and the employee entering that vacant room one minute apart. Mitchell said, ” I am thankful that I’m able to be as strong as I am right now because it hasn’t been easy for me.”Dena Foman, Mitchell’s attorney, told WPBF 25 News “Someone was asleep at the wheel here because a predator was allowed to be among our most vulnerable citizens for a number of years.” Foman believes St. Mary’s bears responsibility, “We’re talking about these people are on their last hope to live. They’re ready to kill themselves, or they’re ready to kill someone else. Extra care should be taken to make sure that these victims are protected. They don’t have the freedom of choice because society looks at them in a certain way.”Foman believes there are more victims. A second West Palm Beach police report obtained by WPBF 25 news reveals the same man was investigated in a similar sexual abuse case in October 2020, two months before Mitchell arrived at the facility. The woman claimed the same employee sexually abused her while supervising her alone in her room. The report says the hospital suspended the suspect.According to the detective who investigated there was probable cause to arrest him, but the victim did not want to proceed with the case, but did want the abuse documented.St. Mary’s responded to our request for answers with the following statement. The employee “had not been employed by St. Mary’s since December 2020. After we reported these allegations to the police, we fully cooperated with the authorities in their investigation. Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our patients.”According to investigative reports, the employee was fired on Christmas Eve. Less than a month later, he died in a car crash in Belle Glade.St. Mary’s has been not been charged with any wrongdoing or sued at this point.

Two women have reported allegations of sexual abuse by a former employee at a local hospital.

According to two separate reports filed with West Palm Beach Police and obtained by WPBF 25 News, the women were undergoing treatment at the Institute for Mental Health at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Dwana Mitchell told WPBF 25’s Tiffany Kenney that she ended up in the mental health facility in December 2020.

Mitchell, who has been homeless for seven months, told Kenney she was at risk of hurting herself and others.

Mitchell said just a few days before Christmas she was sexually abused by the employee.

According to the West Palm Beach Police report, the suspect sexually abused Mitchell in the shower and then in a vacant room next to Mitchell’s room.

Mitchell told Kenney, “So at that point, I didn’t really know what to do because I mean I was in a situation where I didn’t know what to do.”

According to police investigators, surveillance video from inside the mental health facility shows the staff member going into Mitchell’s room and then Mitchell and the employee entering that vacant room one minute apart.

Mitchell said, ” I am thankful that I’m able to be as strong as I am right now because it hasn’t been easy for me.”

Dena Foman, Mitchell’s attorney, told WPBF 25 News “Someone was asleep at the wheel here because a predator was allowed to be among our most vulnerable citizens for a number of years.”

Foman believes St. Mary’s bears responsibility, “We’re talking about these people are on their last hope to live. They’re ready to kill themselves, or they’re ready to kill someone else. Extra care should be taken to make sure that these victims are protected. They don’t have the freedom of choice because society looks at them in a certain way.”

Foman believes there are more victims.

A second West Palm Beach police report obtained by WPBF 25 news reveals the same man was investigated in a similar sexual abuse case in October 2020, two months before Mitchell arrived at the facility.

The woman claimed the same employee sexually abused her while supervising her alone in her room.

The report says the hospital suspended the suspect.

According to the detective who investigated there was probable cause to arrest him, but the victim did not want to proceed with the case, but did want the abuse documented.

St. Mary’s responded to our request for answers with the following statement.

The employee “had not been employed by St. Mary’s since December 2020. After we reported these allegations to the police, we fully cooperated with the authorities in their investigation. Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our patients.”

According to investigative reports, the employee was fired on Christmas Eve. Less than a month later, he died in a car crash in Belle Glade.

St. Mary’s has been not been charged with any wrongdoing or sued at this point.

https://www.wpbf.com/article/two-women-allege-sexual-abuse-at-a-west-palm-beach-hospital/36076505

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