Attorney Commentary: Read the second section of this article for legal commentary on the legal rights of victims from sexual assault lawyer Michael Haggard.
An employee of the Apalachee Center in Tallahassee was arrested on March 12 after a patient filed a sexual battery report.
23-year-old Deion Young has been accused of sexually assaulting a mental health patient from the facility. He has not been charged with sexual assault, but has been charged with sexual activity with a mental patient - a second-degree felony.
Court documents say that a victim contacted the Tallahassee Police to file a sexual battery report on March 7. She told police that 23-year-old Deion Young had sexually assaulted her. Young is a recovery coach at the Apalachee Center - a mental health clinic.
The victim told investigators that on March 7, she and Young walked around campus together and eventually sat down at a table near a basketball court. According to court documents, Young forced the victim to participate in sexual activity at this table.
Court documents say that the victim did not resist because she was afraid of what Young might do.
Police spoke with Young about the incident on March 12. He reportedly admitted to engaging in sexual activity with the patient but said that he believed it was consensual.
Young was arrested and is still being held at the Leon County Detention Facility on suspicion of sexual activity with a mental patient.
Sexual assault victim lawyer Michael Haggard represents victims and their families in civil lawsuits. We've asked Michael to share some of his thoughts on the legal rights of mental health facility sexual assault victims:
Mental health facilities are responsible for making sure their patients are safe. Sadly, protections for patients must also include protections against sexual assault, as there have been numerous reports of mental health patients being sexually assaulted by staff members, other patients, and visitors to facilities.
When a mental health patient is sexually assaulted, there should be a thorough investigation into the full circumstances surrounding the crime. The perpetrator and the facility should both be investigated. Some of these crimes only happen due to negligence by mental health facilities - such as failing to investigate past reports of sexual misconduct by the perpetrator.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted at a mental health facility, you can learn more about your legal rights in a free consultation with one of our experienced sexual assault victim lawyers.