Lawsuit: Psychiatric hospital negligence led to teen’s rape

An Atlanta area psychiatric hospital is being accused of negligence after a teenage sexual assault victim said she was raped in a bathroom by another patient.

Lawyer Chris Stewart said he filed suit Friday in Clayton County State Court on behalf of the girl’s mother. It accuses Anchor Hospital in College Park of failing to provide adequate security and supervision.

People who are abused “shouldn’t be tortured at a place that they go to get help,” Stewart said in a phone interview Friday.

A representative for Anchor Hospital did not immediately return requests for comment left on an office phone and a cell phone Friday. A representative for parent company Universal Health Services, Inc., did not immediately have a comment.

“This is just inexcusable because they have cameras. They’re supposed to have round-the-clock nurses and medical staff monitoring the patients,” Stewart says. “Once we started digging into it, we just saw how bad their history is over there.”

The lawsuit says the hospital has a history of failing to have adequate staff and has been cited by the federal government for violations.

The 16-year-old patient, who’s identified in the lawsuit only as “Jane Doe,” was being treated following a previous sexual assault, the lawsuit says.

She was showering Feb. 16 when an 18-year-old male patient entered the bathroom and raped her, according to a police report provided to The Associated Press by Stewart. An unidentified female acted as a “lookout” to make sure no one would enter, the report says.

The teen told the officer she didn’t want to identify the male patient because he apologized the next day and already had some legal issues, the report says. Her mother was the one who wanted her to file the report after learning of the alleged rape four days later, the report says.

The teen told the officer that she later asked the lookout why she allowed the male patient to rape her, and the lookout said she thought it was consensual.

College Park police Sgt. Marcus Dennard said the male patient was arrested on a felony rape charge.

The lawsuit says the girl has “suffered severe emotional distress, post-traumatic stress and depression and has been unable to function properly in her normal capacities.” It seeks a jury trial and asks for damages, including lost wages and medical care.

“This is one where I just shake my head,” Stewart said. “I don’t really know what to tell her or what to do because that’s just so traumatizing.”

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