Sexual attack inside Children’s Hospital alleged in lawsuit

A teenaged patient at Children’s Hospital in Seattle says she was sexually assaulted by another patient. According to the lawsuit, the alleged sexual assault happened while both the victim and her attacker were patients in the psych ward.

In August, 2006, a teenage girl was admitted as a patient to the psychiatric unit at Children’s Hospital, suffering from depression.

According to the complaint, after her arrival “she was left in a conference room by herself” when “a large male patient, age 17, came into the conference room” and “sexually assaulted” her.

The complaint also says that during the girl’s stay, she “was terrified of the male patient” who continually harassed her. In addition, the complaint states that the male patient was discharged from Children’s Hospital, then readmitted, and was placed in a room right next to the girl.

That’s when the girl finally reported the assault and harassment to the staff.

In response, Children’s Hospital says that the victim didn’t report any “inappropriate behavior” until “more than one week later” and that any harm to the girl was “the result of the actions of third parties” and that Children’s Hospital was “not responsible.” This is according to King 5 news.

That 17-year-old boy was put on probation with electronic home monitoring and given a no-contact order.

Statement from Children’s Hospital:

At Children’s, we take any allegation of misconduct or abuse very seriously. In the event of an allegation, we work closely with the patient, their family and our staff to investigate, notify appropriate authorities and take actions to correct any problems. To protect the privacy of our patients, we do not release details about patient care without their consent. Patient safety is at the core of our hospital’s mission and we continually strive to improve on all aspects of patient care.

Since September of 2006 we have implemented or enhanced a number of additional safety procedures in our inpatient psychiatry unit including our protocol for supervising hallways and general areas, our use of alarms and cameras outside patient rooms and line-of-sight observation. As with all clinical areas, we continually work to improve patient safety, access and service.

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