Florida mother suing caregiver after developmentally disabled daughter becomes pregnant

Florida mother suing caregiver after developmentally disabled daughter becomes pregnant
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A Florida woman is reportedly suing her daughter's former health care provider and three of its employees, alleging that her developmentally disabled daughter was raped and impregnated in their care.

According to a lawsuit filed in Escambia County, Florida, the 23-year-old unidentified woman was attending Westgate School on weekdays when the employees noticed changes in her behavior and bruising on her hip, the complaint reads, according to the Pensacola News Journal.


The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the woman, says that she was attending a school for children and young adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Employees noticed the bruising upon changing her diaper, the complaint reads.

Staff repeatedly told the woman's caregivers at Pensacola Cluster about her behavior and bruising, according to the complaint. The lawsuit alleges that caregivers did not seek treatment for the woman, investigate the reported injuries or notify authorities, according to the Journal.

A report from Agency for Health Care Administration that is not part of the complaint said Westgate employees alerted the Department of Children and Families of the suspected abuse, according to the paper.

The woman was then sent to a doctor after being contacted a third time by her school, the lawsuit continiues. The doctor, according to the complaint, found that she had a broken hip and needed surgery. 

Medical personnel discovered that the woman was pregnant during a pre-surgery check, later performing a sexual assault exam. The lawsuit states that the woman had a miscarriage, but does not detail when.

The executive director of the Mentor Network — which oversees the Pensacola Cluster — said the facility is cooperating with the investigation.

The lawsuit names Jennifer Prorock, an area director and administrator, Director of Nursing Joyce Stokes; and Assistant Director of Nursing Shaneice Pace, CNN reported, noting that none of the women could be reached for comment.

The county sheriff's office reportedly investigated the case last year, but said officers could not identify a suspect and the case had been closed.

The lawsuit says that "due to her developmental disabilities, Plaintiff is unable to knowingly and voluntarily give consent to sexual intercourse and she has been declared legally incompetent."

The woman's lawyers are seeking damages for medical costs, in addition to severe emotional distress, pain and suffering. A monetary value was not specified in the lawsuit.

Jim Green, the woman's attorney, said in a statement that the family is seeking justice for the woman.

"(The victim's) mother is outraged and devastated by what happened to (her)," Green said in an email to the News Journal. "What she wants is to protect (her daughter) from abuse and for (her daughter) to be safe."

Spokespeople for Pensacola Cluster did not on the suit, according to the News Journal. 

News of the case comes shortly after police in Arizona announced that they were investigating after a woman in a coma for more than 14 years gave birth at a nursing facility.