Police: Nursing home blocks investigation into possible sexual assault against patient

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A patient with dementia at a Daytona Beach nursing home was possibly sexually assaulted, according to police.  

Investigators said they do not know if the alleged perpetrator is a health care worker or another patient at the Daytona Beach Health and Rehabilitation Center, and when Channel 9’s Renee Stoll called the facility, officials said they were not talking about the incident.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said he is furious over recent actions by the facility that have blocked an investigation into the possible sex assault case.

“It is despicable. In a way it shocks the conscience,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood said the patient is a 75-year-old terminally ill woman with dementia.

“She complained to her daughter around July 3rd that she’s having pain,” Chitwood said.

The woman’s family took their loved one to the hospital and found out she had a sexually transmitted disease.

“The STD she has can only be transmitted through sex, so (her daughter) then notifies us,” Chitwood said.

Detectives came to the facility on Third Street to do interviews, but the chief said they were told to hit the road.

“In 27 years, I have never had an investigation blocked because they want to run around waving HIPPA requirements,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood said the facility won’t allow interviews of workers or patients.

“All of a sudden, within 15 minutes of detectives arriving there, we got the proverbial ‘get off our property, we’re not cooperating, we’re contacting our attorney,’” Chitwood said.

Stoll asked police why they couldn’t just act, regardless of what the facility wants, if they believe a crime has been committed.

Chitwood said although they’re confident it happened at the facility because of the dates they’ve narrowed to the possible abuse, they don’t have proof.

“Those patients that are in that rehab center, they’re owed a complete and thorough investigation,” Chitwood said.

The chief said the family has moved the woman to another facility.

Police said the only route they can take now is to work with the State Attorney’s Office to have people subpoenaed.

“I want to know who had access to that woman. I want to know how many male nurses were in there. I want to know who goes in and out of her room,” Chitwood said.

WFTV looked into the facility’s background and found they’ve has several violations.

This year, they’ve been visited by the agency of Health Care Administration eight times.

In those visits, they were found in violation of incorrect prescriptions, the temperature of the food, equipment not maintained, and safety issues with alarms.

“That is unconscionable because every day this goes by, there is another potential (of) another victim,” Chitwood said.