Daytona Beach, FL – A former Rockledge caregiver for people with severe mental disabilities will serve eight years in prison after having sex with a patient, resulting in the woman becoming pregnant and giving birth.
Willie Shorter, 62, was arrested in 2019 after police accused him of fathering a child with a woman that has the “mental capacity of a small child” at the Bridges adult care facility in Rockledge. He was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on an elderly or disabled adult, a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
What makes this case so shocking is that it took 8 years to bring the man to justice. Staff at the facility discovered the woman was pregnant in 2015 and, although Shorter was a suspect, the police did not have enough evidence to convict him. The man was allowed to keep working there, caring for the woman and at least 12 other vulnerable patients. The woman gave birth later that year and the child was adopted by her parents. It was only in 2019 that Shorter agreed to submit to a paternity test which showed he was the father of the child.
Under a plea bargain with the prosecution, Shorter will serve eight years in jail, followed by 7 years on probation
Bridges BTC, Inc. — which rebranded itself last year as the Arc of Space Coast — is a Rockledge-based nonprofit that provides services and programs to clients with disabilities and their families.
How to spot sexual abuse in nursing homes?
Sexual abuse continues to be a very serious problem in care or nursing homes. If you suspect something of the kind you need to speak with experienced Daytona Beach nursing home abuse lawyers. On the one hand, you must protect your loved one and get them out of there as soon as possible, but, on the other hand, you must document the abuse to bring the perpetrator to justice.
Here are some signs that could indicate that sexual abuse may have occurred:
- Unexplained injuries or bruises on the genitals, thighs, or breasts
- Torn or stained underwear
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Increased anxiety or fearfulness around certain staff members
- Sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or aggressive
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Unexplained or sudden changes in mood or behavior
- Expressing fear of being alone with a particular staff member or caregiver
- Displaying signs of depression or PTSD
- Refusing to take part in personal care or hygiene activities
The first thing you need to do is to take photos of any injury or torn and stained underwear. Next, you must seek counsel from knowledgeable Florida nursing home abuse lawyers.
You might be tempted to install a granny cam in your loved one’s room, but you must tread carefully. Under Florida law, it is illegal to record someone’s voice without permission. Some would tell you that this automatically prohibits any recordings. However, seasoned nursing home abuse lawyers say that you can make silent videos. There have been cases where Florida courts upheld this view. Capturing a care home employee abusing a patient in any way should be enough to get them convicted.
If you believe someone you love was neglected or abused in any way in a Florida nursing home or care facility, schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney at the Pappas & Russell PA law firm and have them review your case.
Phone: (386) 254-2941
213 Silver Beach Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118