Autistic Woman Diagnosed With HIV After Sexual Assault at Care Facility: Reports

January 27, 2019 Updated: January 27, 2019

An autistic woman in her 50s was reportedly sexually assaulted and diagnosed with HIV in northern London.

According to the Daily Mail in a report on Jan. 27, the alleged abuse occurred at the London facility and was carried out by a night shift worker.

The details were revealed in a report by the Brent Safeguarding Adults Board. The woman, who was identified only as Cassie in the report, was discovered to have HIV and lost her appetite from around 2007.

After a police investigation, they found the disease was sexually transmitted and added she lacked the mental capacity to consent to sexual activity.

A night shift worker abused the woman at the home in Brent, and another five residents may have been assaulted by the same worker between 2006 and 2016, the Mirror reported.


Posted by Daily Mirror on Sunday, January 27, 2019

Cassie, also known as “Adult B” in the report, had been in the care of services since she was a child.

From around 2007, she began to suffer not only from a loss in appetite but also rashes, bruising, and teeth problems. Eventually, she was taken to London’s Guy’s Hospital after collapsing at the care home, the Mail reported.

“This is a distressing case of a woman who should have been safe but has acquired a serious infection probably as a result of sexual abuse,” professor Michael Preston-Shoot, chairman of the Brent Safeguarding Adults Board, was quoted by the Mirror as saying.

“The board wishes to express its deep and sincere regret to Adult B and her family,” he stated.

The police were not able to collect forensic evidence, meaning that the culprit will likely not be brought to justice.

Awful. She's one of up to six residents infected at the facility

Posted by Daily Mail on Sunday, January 27, 2019

The investigation into the case was closed in 2017, said London police officials.

“Due to the ten-year period the offense was alleged to have occurred between, no clear suspects could be identified and there were no forensic opportunities available,” a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service told the Mail. “There are no lines of inquiry that require further examination at this time.”

The home where the woman was reportedly abused, meanwhile, has been shuttered as a result. Five other residents are at new facilities.

“All of the partners on the Safeguarding Adults Board, including the council, have expressed our deep and sincere regret to both Cassie and her family,” a representative for Brent Council told the Mail.

“We can confirm that Cassie is no longer living in a care home managed by the previous provider and the other five residents who lived there with her have also been moved to other homes with the co-operation of their families,” the representative said.

It added that Cassie is now “safe and happy.”

Hacienda healthcare in Phoenix
The report of the incident comes just weeks after similar reports of a sexual assault in Phoenix at a Hacienda HealthCare facility. (Franklin/AP)

“We continue to monitor her progress regularly as well as maintaining contact with her family. We no longer place any residents in care homes run by this provider,” the Brent Council said.

The safeguarding board worked closely with police, the statement said.

“The Council takes its responsibilities to vulnerable adults very seriously and is continuously working to improve the support we provide to vulnerable adults in Brent, including setting up a team that specifically focuses on reviewing the quality of care and support for individuals in residential placements, and integrating the health and social care learning disability teams into a single team providing holistic support to adults with a learning disability,” it added.

Nathan Sutherland
Nathan Sutherland, 36, a licensed practical nurse, was arrested on a charge of sexual assault of an incapacitated woman who gave birth in December 2018 at a long-term health care facility in Phoenix, Ariz., operated by Hacienda HealthCare. Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said on Jan. 23, 2019, that investigators arrested Sutherland on one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Update in Arizona

The report comes just days after a nurse in Arizona was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman at a long-term health care facility. The woman gave birth to a child in December 2018.

Nathan Sutherland, 36, was arrested three days after police said he was responsible for the crime. He had worked at Hacienda HealthCare since 2012 and his last day on the job was Jan. 20, AZFamily reported.

Police said DNA tests were administered, and Sutherland’s DNA positively matched the baby’s DNA.