LACONIA – A Merrimack man has filed suit in the Belknap County Superior Court against the former Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center at the Meadows facility on 57 Horne Road in Belmont, saying his late wife was sexually assaulted there by another resident.
The suit says that on April 28, 2014, the man's wife, who had previously been hospitalized at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, was found in her room with her pajama bottoms on backward and pulled down to her ankles. She told the nurse that she had been raped.
The victim's obituary in The Union Leader said she was 50 and died on June 8, 2014, from complications of ALS – Lou Gehrig's Disease – and dementia.
According to the suit, the victim was taken to the home in Belmont on April 25, 2014, and her medical records accompanied her, detailing that she often engaged in greeting men with some movements that could be interpreted as sexual advances.
Her treatment plan, said her late husband in the complaint, called for one-to-one care and an educational program on the appropriate means of sexual expression and behavior.
The suit claims she was assaulted by the male resident, who allegedly had a proclivity to being "sexually opportunistic" after meeting him for the first time earlier that day. Her husband claims that despite the staff being aware of the proclivities of both his wife and the other resident, they were both placed on the same floor.
On the night of the assault, the suit claims there were three staff members there – one for each floor and a nurse who floated between floors. It contends that the staff member who took over at 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 had a responsibility to do laundry and the victim's room wasn't visible from the laundry room.
Sometime in the early morning hours she was allegedly raped.
The assault was reported by the then director to the state Bureau of Development Services and an investigation conducted pursuant to state regulations determined that the victim's rights were violated.
The suit asks for an unknown amount of damages for negligence and loss of consortium as the victim allegedly became fearful of all men including her husband, who, following the assault, was unable to visit her, hold her hand or comfort her.
Lakeview has since sold the Belmont facility to a different company that's in the same business, and last December, Gov. Maggie Hassan ordered that no further placements be made there or in their Effingham facility.
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