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Sex Abuse Cover-up at California's Developmentally Disabled Hospitals

Updated on November 29, 2012

This is actually old news that finally is in the headlines because of whistle blowers and family members of those in California's Developmental Centers for the Handicapped. These are state facilities, sometimes, in beautiful landscaped areas, that maintain and care for those who are disabled physically or mentally or both, some are fairly incoherent much of the time, others simply cannot function in normal society and the family allows the state to take care of them, legally.

They can be babies to adults, they might had been totally normal at one point in their life, yet, drugs, beatings, drowning or whatever, ended that normalcy. Now, they sit in bed, many with tubes to feed them, keep them alive, staring off into space. Some barely talk, others mumble words. To see them is depressing and sad.

Yet, there are state employees or psychiatric technicians that prey on them for sex. An employee might pay a more capable patient a dollar for oral sex, or maybe, rape occurs because the victim has no clue what is going on or what sex is. In the past few years, molestation or rape had happened 36 times, yet police assigned to protect them either failed to do so or was unaware it was happening. These police are part of the Office of Protection Services. When a rape was reported, these police did not even have the standard "Rape kit" to collect evidence. In one case, the victim was pregnant.

A third of the cases reported now have occurred at Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) in Eldridge, CA., 20 minutes from Santa Rosa. If you were to drive by, your impression would be of awe. The grounds and buildings are from a by-gone era, huge palms and spacious lawns spread out. Other similar reports were at hospitals in LA, Orange, Riverside and Tulare.

At SDC, the hospital has about 500 patients, but state budget cuts has made care and staff a bare minimum. Many staff on the job are careless or could care less about those they are suppose to care for. The best doctors and nurses that begin work there, soon quit because of the disregard for patient care and medical protocols. What is left are those not well paid, those just wanting an easy job and doing as little as possible.

The Office of Protective Services was alerted in 2009, when a female patient said she was paid $1 to give oral sex on a caregiver, a psych technician. Up until then, hospital administration covered it up and did nothing because of bad publicity. Now, the police are investigating all reports at all facilities and finding out what has been going on for years.

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