Sex abuse in hospitals, nursing homes affects patients of all ages

NEW YORK — Mary Dean, 61, had been in a Poughkeepsie-area hospital for a month, recovering from two heart surgeries, when she grabbed her daughter’s arm on Sunday, Jan. 6th, to stop her from leaving the hospital room.

“She started shaking her head ‘No,’” Latasha Cummings recalled to PIX11, “She was trying to ‘lip’ something to me, but I didn’t understand what she was saying.”

Mary Dean had a tracheal tube in her throat, and she needed a breathing machine.

The next morning, Dean’s sister Sheniquah said Mary grabbed her arm when she tried to leave the same hospital room.

“This was the first time I saw her cry,” Sheniquah Dean said, referring to her sister’s medical problems.

Dean’s daughter was summoned, and the two women asked Mary Dean to write on a piece of paper.

“She just kept writing, EKG, EKG,” her daughter recalled.

Then Mary Dean wrote something that referred to the male anatomy and made a gesture with her hands. “I asked, ‘Was somebody messing with you?’” Sheniquah Dean remembered.

The family told PIX11 Mary Dean was able to communicate that a man in a burgundy uniform had abused her. The patient’s daughter and sister notified nursing supervisors and the Poughkeepsie Police.

“It was the EKG Department” that wore burgundy uniforms, Latasha Cummings said.

“One of the nurses in the room at the time, she said that my mom was incoherent, that my mom was hallucinating, and this was not true,” Cummings noted.

The incident illustrates a troubling concern for patients and families involved with medical facilities: Staff who may take advantage sexually of the weak and most vulnerable, regardless of age.

Tune into News 3 at 5 Monday to learn about more case investigations and when an attorney said these crimes usually happen.

This story was originally published by WPIX.

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