• Jacksonville woman, 94, raped at assisted living facility, family says

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    A Jacksonville family is accusing a well-known assisted living facility of not doing enough to protect their 94-year-old mom from a rapist. 

    Attorneys are working to bring a lawsuit against Brookdale Atrium Way, alleging security negligence they say led to the rape of two elderly women and the attempted rape of another.

    The attorneys at Edwards & Ragatz provided police reports detailing at three incidents during a news conference Wednesday. The client they’re representing is a 94-year-old woman who had been living at the Regency area facility for almost eight years. 

    Brookdale said in a statement: “Our primary concern is our residents.

    We continue to work with local law enforcement on their investigation related to this incident by a third party.

    While we do not believe some of the statements made by the attorney are accurate based upon the investigation by local law enforcement, we cannot comment further because of the pending litigation and the privacy of our residents.”

    The victim moved out of Brookdale on May 4, shortly after the alleged rape happened. Action News Jax is not naming the victim because she’s potentially a victim of sexual assault but we did speak to her daughter, Myra.

    “She said, ‘He hurt me down there, and I wish I had died,” her daughter said. 

    Myra said her mom told her that a man wearing scrubs entered her room at Brookdale, threw her on the bed and raped her. 

    According to a police report, a “be on the lookout” was broadcast, but the suspect was never found. 

    The family says that Brookdale could have done more to protect its residents.
     
    “Following this attack, they’ve done nothing that we’ve been able to find to alert their communities to alert the families and to alert the patients,” attorney Thomas Edwards Jr. said.  

    According to Edwards, police have already DNA tested every male employee at the facility and they came up negative. Edwards said he doesn’t know yet if the rape kit analysis came back with any matches.

    Edwards said after the alleged attack in April, two more incidents happened on the property. One on May 22 and another on Sept. 6.

    However, JSO says the case from May was closed because police were “unable to verify a crime occurred” and the September case is labeled a burglary although the police report does detail how the victim reported a subject tried to get into her bed and that it may be related to a sexual battery from April.

    “After her [April] rape they began installing bars on sliding glass doors and afterwards was too late,” said Edwards.  

    The victim has not been the same since the attack, her daughter said. 

    “There’s nothing I could do to make her feel safe anymore,” Myra said. “She basically sits, and watches Hallmark movies people ask me why and I think they have happy endings, it’s her way of escaping.”

    Edwards said the victim is terrified and has discussed killing herself. 

    “She is no longer socializing, she is no longer seeing people every day,” Edwards said. “She largely stays hiding in a room in terror.” 

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