Authorities in Hagerstown have arrested a man who allegedly raped an 84-year-old woman with dementia at Meritus Medical Center in October. 53-year-old Alexander William McIntyre faces charges of second-degree rape, physical abuse of a vulnerable adult, and third- and fourth-degree sex offenses.
On Tuesday, November 13, Washington County District Court Judge Mark D. Thomas ordered McIntyre held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center.
On October 15, deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office were called to Meritus Medical Center for a report of a sexual assault that morning. A nurse told arriving deputies that an 84-year-old female dementia patient had been sexually assaulted. The nurse said that she was told about the incident by a clinical observer from the hospital, who witnessed the sexual assault.
The clinical observer says she saw McIntyre lean in to kiss the victim, but that she could not tell if he made contact with the victim’s genitals. She also said she was unsure if she should report the incident to supervisors. McIntyre stopped assaulting the victim when medical staff entered with an X-ray machine.
The victim was readmitted to the ICU because of a deteriorated condition. A nurse then came to the ICU and conducted a sexual assault exam after her condition improved. The results of this exam came back on October 16 and showed evidence of sexual trauma.
McIntyre was served with an arrest warrant on Friday, November 9.
Nursing home sexual abuse lawyer and contributor Aaron Blank represents survivors in civil court. We have asked him to chime in with some thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been sexually assaulted in medical facilities and nursing homes:
Patient safety needs to be the top priority in any healthcare facility, nursing home, or assisted care facility. But unfortunately, some of these facilities fail to prioritize patient safety, which can lead to unnecessary injuries, illnesses, deaths, and even violent crime. In cases where a patient is harmed by an employee, intruder, or another patient, there are many concerns to consider. The patient must get the help they need, the perpetrator must be apprehended and prosecuted, and the facility must also be held accountable if their negligence allowed the crime to occur.
For example, a healthcare facility could be deemed negligent if a sexual assault or other crime occurred due to a failure to properly supervise their patients.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted in a healthcare facility, you can learn more about your family’s legal options in a free consultation with an experienced sexual assault survivor lawyer.