WTHR has reported that a resident was raped and smothered to death inside her room at the Homestead Healthcare Center located at 7465 Madison Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227.
On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, police were called to the suspicious death of an 80-year-old female patient. After an investigation, they revealed that 60-year-old Dwayne Freeman had allegedly sexually assaulted the victim before smothering her with a pillow. An employee from the facility walked in on Freeman on top of the victim with a pillow over her face while raping her. He claims that the sex was consensual and denied having a pillow.
Freeman was said to have alcohol on his breath. Employees also found an empty bottle of alcohol in his room. He was arrested and faces charges of two counts of murder and two counts of rape.
Attorney contributor Jeff Gibson represents sexual assault victims and their families in civil lawsuits. Jeff recently addressed the legal rights of nursing home sexual assault victims and their surviving family members.
"Residential healthcare facilities and nursing homes have a legal responsibility to create a safe environment for their residents from preventable crime, like sexual assault. This duty of care should be a top priority as they are tasked with taking care of those that cannot care for themselves. Most nursing homes offer great care to their residents, but lately, the cases of abuse and neglect are tragically increasing. Additionally, there have been numerous cases of nursing home employees charged with sexually abusing residents as well as other residents. The facility should have a proper safety plan in place that can include monitoring security videos and frequently conducting security sweeps, among others. If a patient is assaulted or killed, and the facility neglected to have sufficient security, it could be held liable."
"After an incident, the facility and the perpetrator should both be investigated. If the facility or resident had a history of violence or misconduct that went unaddressed, the crime could be considered foreseeable. If the foreseeable crime occurred due to the nursing home's negligence, the victim or their family might have reason to file a lawsuit. Victims or their families can learn more about their legal rights by consulting with an experienced sexual assault victim attorney."