First published September 7, 2011Girls who were sexually assaulted at two psychiatric facilities in Washington State were not protected by Child Protective Services. In both instances, Mandated Reporters failed to report repeated sexual assaults of two teen-age girls, as required by law.
In both cases the perpetrators were risks known to hospital staff. Both perpetrators had sexually assaulted other girls in the facilities, prior to assaulting the girls this blog post is about. In neither case were any mandated reporters prosecuted for the gross misdemeanor crime of failure to report; and no one lost their job.
My son was at CSTC when these the rapes at CSTC occurred. It was apparent to me on visits that Anthony Grant was preying on the girls---I repeatedly complained to staff. I was told he needed, "more training;" later I discovered this inappropriate response was being made by the same staff psychologist who managed to get Angel to recant...which allowed Anthony grant to remain on staff, to rape another girl. story here
The girl who was assaulted at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center was assaulted by another patient who had sexually assaulted another patient a year before. The second assault was caught on video; but after watching the video, the staff member erased it. The crime was not reported to the Police, and the victim did not receive immediate appropriate medical attention. In fact, the crime was not reported until the victim complained about ongoing abuse from the perpetrator---who had been put in a room right next to the victim! Supposedly, here in Washington State, destroying evidence of a crime is a crime; and Failure to Report to Law Enforcement and CPS the sexual assault of these girls is a gross misdemeanor. When CPS does eventually "investigate," it's findings were inconclusive?! I'd be willing to bet the perpetrator in the second case is a Ward of the State and identified as a 'Sexually Aggressive Youth' which meant the State failed to provide protection against KNOWN threats in both cases.
via The Seattle Times:
"For several days, until the girl found the courage to report the assault to staff, the boy passed her sexually suggestive notes, came into her room while she slept and asked to have sex, and forced his way into the restroom to proposition her, according to the CPS findings and the girl's parents."
"It was then that the girl told staff, who called CPS. Police were also contacted, and the boy was charged in Seattle Municipal Court with one count of assault and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes."
"Despite the apologies, the girl's parents say they still are confused. They learned in a letter from Children's that a videotape that had recorded the assault in the conference room had been reviewed by Anne Moore, the unit manager, but had then been erased. And it wasn't until about 12 months after their daughter's assault — after CPS had been made aware that another girl on the unit in the summer of 2006 said the same boy assaulted her — that CPS conducted a full investigation." here.
In both cases, Psychiatric Hospital Staff failed to protect their patients from a known threat; which is what both perpetrators were after the first incidents. ONE Victim of sexual assault was not enough to fire the Staff member at the State's Psychiatric facility for children. A video tape of a crime was not enough for Staff at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center to act on a traumatized victim's behalf. No staff members lost their jobs for failing to report a sexual assault as required by law. Every one of them had a duty to protect and were negligent, and failed their duty to these girls, whom they had a duty to protect.
Things that trouble me greatly about both of these cases: Both perpetrators were allowed to plea to lesser crimes, even though both had known prior victims...Staff members were aware of the danger the perpetrators posed to the girls. In both cases, reports were filed ONLY after the traumatized victims came forward themselves. Psychiatric professionals failed to reach out to sexually traumatized victims; and I cannot wrap my mind around that---it is not acceptable, it is criminal.
I can only conclude that prosecuting crimes committed against vulnerable children is not a priority for Rob McKenna, our Attorney General. What other explanation could there be for mandated reporters working in the only State Psychiatric facility for children, Child Study and Treatment Center and at the world renown, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center not being prosecuted for the Gross Misdemeanor Crime of failure to report? Rob McKenna failed as well.
It is individuals who work for the people of the State of Washington who failed these girls. It is not the system that fails our vulnerable children and adults. The idea that 'the system' is failing; or is broken is an notion that has allowed individuals who are negligent in the performance of their duties, to be rewarded with impunity for their complicity. Individuals who fail to report crimes, and fail to defend children and vulnerable adults to whom they owe a duty, are culpable in the crimes they fail to report, and should be held accountable in a Court of Law, by the Attorney General who also owes these victims a duty. Child and Adult protective services, "The System," cannot be fixed without holding those entrusted to watch out for children and vulnerable adults accountable when they are criminally negligent. Failure to hold State employees and other contracted professionals the public pays to work with vulnerable children and adults accountable increases the State of Washington's potential liability; one would think this would be incentive for the State of Washington to act proactively in behalf of children and vulnerable adults.
Some of the people who failed my son, Isaac, have since retired with pensions. Attorney General, Rob McKenna failed to even do a cursory investigation, not even a simple interview in response to the criminal complaint I filed on my son's behalf. This tells me that Rob McKenna protects perpetrators much more zealously than he protects children or vulnerable adults who are victimized by state employees or agents of the state.