Escambia County, Fla. -- The family of a 23-year-old "non-verbal, immobile" woman is suing a Florida health care facility, charging she was raped and impregnated while living there. But authorities say they haven't been able to find DNA evidence of a pregnancy.
CBS Mobile, Alabama affiliate WKRG-TV reports the family is seeking more than $15,000 in damages from National Mentor Healthcare LLC, which operates the Pensacola Cluster facility where, the suit asserts, the 23-year-old was sexually assaulted.
The suit says the 23-year-old is non-verbal, immobile, lacks dexterity in her hands and arms and needs a feeding tube, among many physical limitations. The suit adds that the woman lived in the facility from September 28, 2010 to February 7, 2018, and was totally dependent on its staff.
According to the suit, the woman went to Westgate School for children and young adults with disabilities on weekdays while living at Pensacola Cluster, and the only time she wasn't under the supervision of Pensacola Cluster was when she was at Westgate.
It was at Westgate in January 2018, the lawsuit says, that employees found the woman had physical injuries including hip bruising. They also noted behavioral changes, the suit alleges.
The suit claims that, despite being notified twice, the Pensacola Cluster didn't report the injuries to the Florida Adult Abuse Hotline and didn't seek medical treatment for the woman.
The lawsuit says the 23-year-old's caregivers removed her from the facility after a medical exam confirmed she was pregnant and found signs she'd been raped, including a broken hip and bruising. The suit says the woman later suffered a miscarriage.
However, the Escambia County Sherif's Office said in a Facebook post Thursday that, "Every available investigative technique was utilized to capture evidence from the pregnancy, which could be analyzed, to link to a suspect, but it all returned negative for foreign DNA. … After extensive review and consultation with the state attorney and DCF (Florida Department of Children and Families), we are confident that all investigative leads have been exhausted.
Pensacola Cluster isn't commenting on the suit, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
The allegations there are similar to those inand gave birth to a baby boy on Dec. 29.