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Wife of US Rep. Joe Wilson jammed medicine and water into 98-year-old mom’s mouth, sheriff’s report says

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) (left) talks to reporters with his wife Roxanne Wilson outside his office on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2009, in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/TNS)

The wife of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., forcibly jammed medicine into her 98-year-old mother’s mouth with a fork and then flooded her mouth with water “until she was choking,” according to a Lexington County Sheriff’s Department incident report.

The Sept. 29 incident, which the report described as “an assault,” was witnessed by two medical technicians at the Columbia Presbyterian Community care center Lexington County, according to the report.

The State Media Co. had asked to see a copy of the sheriff’s report early last week. But an initial copy of the report, apparently written by Deputy W.C. Aiken, was not released until Monday afternoon. A letter from the Sheriff’s Department accompanying the report indicated a more detailed report may be forthcoming.

In addition to being the longtime wife of Joe Wilson, Roxanne Wilson is the mother of South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.

The report said that on the afternoon of Sept. 29, facility director Cindy Robbins told a deputy that two medical technicians “had witnessed an assault by Roxanne Wilson on her mother, Martha Dusenbury.”

One medical technician who witnessed the incident said that when Roxanne Wilson arrived at the facility, staff told her that Dusenbury did not take her medicine and “kept spitting it out,” the report said.

At that point, “Roxanne got the medicine and Martha kept stating she did not want to take it. Roxanne then told Martha, ‘Your (sic) going to take this damn medicine’ and forced it into her mouth with a fork,” the report said.

Then “Roxanne … began forcing water into Martha’s mouth until she was choking … at that point, Roxanne then turned around and stated, ‘See there she took it,’” the report said.

The deputy then “attempted to speak to Martha but I was told that Martha has dementia. I asked Martha if any of this was true, to which she stated no,” the deputy wrote in the report.

The deputy then said he told Roxanne Wilson that there was an alleged assault “to where she forcibl(y) put medicine and water into her mother’s mouth. Roxanne stated that she never did such thing and stated, ‘I ain’t going there.’”

“I then advised Roxanne that the facility wanted her placed on trespass after the alleged assault. Roxanne stated that she wasn’t going to play this game and continued making several phone calls and that she would stay in the facility until the caregiver arrived,” the incident report said.

The report also said, “Roxanne ultimately left the facility without incident” and said the deputy’s body camera “was activated.”

Spokespersons for Joe Wilson and Alan Wilson had no immediate comment. Jake Moore, Roxanne Wilson’s lawyer, had no immediate comment.

Franklin Fant, CEO of Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina, declined comment Monday afternoon on the sheriff’s report.

“As a health care provider, federal HIPPA privacy rules prohibit us from sharing health care information regarding our residents,” he said. HIPPA stands for a federal law called Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Reports filed by the facility with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control characterized a Sept. 29 incident as “neglect or exploitation, suspected or confirmed abuse.” Under state law, providers are required to report such incidents to DHEC.


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