Mother to sue psych hospital over sexual assault: "They failed to protect my daughter."

April 29, 2011

A teenage girl interned in a psychiatric ward was sexually abused by an 11-year-old patient and kept in the same unit with him for weeks after the attack, authorities said.

Patricia Watson, the 15-year-old girl's mother, told how her daughter had been placed in Manhattan's Metropolitan Hospital's child psychiatric ward in February.

Then on a visit to the hospital on March 9, Mrs Watson was told by her daughter how she had been attacked by the boy, who sat on her as she slept, before pulling her pants and underwear down and sodomising her.

Speaking to the New York Daily News, Mrs Watson said: 'When my daughter told me what happened, I felt like a knife had pierced me in my heart.

'The hospital failed to protect her. They failed to protect my daughter.'

When Mrs Watson approached authorities,she was told  they were aware of the attack, but it took another two weeks before the boy was removed from the ward.

Mrs Watson added: 'She has panic attacks when she's in her room, when she's in the shower.

'I feel heartbroken my daughter is still there. She should have been moved within hours.'

Mrs Watson now plans to sue the city for $20 million.

Speaking to the paper, Mrs Watson described how she coaxed the story of the attack out of her daughter.

After she noticed her daughters 'vacant' stare she asked: 'Baby, what's wrong.'

The girl then described the attack, telling her mother the boy crept into her room the night before while she was sleeping.

He straddled her back, holding her down, while he started to feel her breasts.

As he began to pull down her trousers and underwear she struggled to throw him off, but couldn't.

She said: 'I tried to push him off, but I couldn't.

'I told him to stop a lot of times, but he didn't. He told me to shut up,' she told prosecutors.'

 Tragedy: The boy was kept on the same ward as his victim for two weeks, reports said

Mrs Watson says her daughter is still reeling from the affects of the attack.

She said: 'Her smile used to brighten up a room.

'Now, I have to ask her to smile for me, and when she smiles, I can still see the pain, the hurt, the anger, the sadness.'

Mrs Watson said she did not remove her daughter from the facility because it would delay her placement in a state hospital for long term treatment.

The boy pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct on March 29 and is awaiting sentencing. 

A Metropolitan Hospital spokesman said: 'We take all such allegations seriously and the matter is under police investigation.

Source: "Girl, 15, sodomised by 11-year-old boy in psychiatric hospital and kept in same ward as attacker for TWO weeks," Daily Mail (UK), April 25, 2011


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