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39 Employees Suspended Following Sexual Assaults At Pennsylvania Veterans Home

March 10, 2017

A total of 39 employees at the Veterans Home in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania have been suspended for “confidential personnel matters,” when a report found that employees failed to follow proper procedure after one resident was repeatedly sexually assaulted by another resident. The Veterans’ Home was cited for failing “to maintain clinical records, that were complete and accurately documented for one of 14 residents” after the sexual assaults occurred.

“Based on the review of investigative documents, it was determined that the facility failed to provide sufficient detail about a resident incident to the Department of Health regarding an incident which seriously compromised a resident’s safety for one of 14 residents reviewed.” the documents stated.

A former employee contacted local news station WTAJ claiming that, after the first sexual assault was discovered by other staff, she was told to, “clean her (the resident and victim) up before she was even allowed to be removed to go to the emergency room or being taken care of.”

“The gentleman (resident and perpetrator), they cut his finger nails,” she continued.

The family of the victim has also contacted WTAJ to confirm allegations that their relative was sexually assaulted while at the facility.

The report says a care plan was designed to separate both residents after the first incident, and staff was ordered to closely monitor the offender when any female patient was present. The former employee, who contacted WTAJ on the condition of anonymity, claims that when employees came forward to “blow the whistle” on policy violations their concerns were quickly dismissed or completely disregarded.

“Everything at that facility is hide it, and sweep it under the carpet,” the employee told WTAJ. “Don’t discuss it. If you discuss it, you’re fired. Discuss it, you’re suspended. Who are you supposed to go to for help?”

Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veteran Affairs Communications Director, Joan Nissley, said 39 employees have been disciplined due to the undisclosed personnel matter following the internal investigation. Allegheny Township police are investigating the alleged sexual assault, but no charges have been filed against any of the employees at this time.