Pennsylvania hospital staffer allegedly told suicidal woman 'let's do a quickie' in shower before raping her
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA: A suicidal patient, who received treatment at the Fairmount Behavioral Health Facility in Philadelphia, has claimed that she suffered sexual assault at the hands of a hospital technician in August 2019. The accuser, identified as Aimee Sansone, claimed that the incident happened after she was admitted at the facility after a failed suicide attempt. "I'd taken pills, I was broken. I was already broken when I went there and now I've left like so damaged," Sansone told WPVI.
According to the woman, she was shifted to the Fairmount Behavioral Health Facility, which is owned by Universal Health Services, from a local hospital. There, instead of a woman ward, she was provided space at a common ward that was mostly reserved for drug addicts. One day, while she was taking a shower, the accused, identified as the 36-year-old Michael McIntosh approached her and said, “Let's have a quickie." But when Sansone did not agree, he allegedly raped her. “Next thing you know, he raped me," she said.
After getting discharged from the facility, Sansone said, she went to the police to report the alleged assault. "My main concern is that this doesn't happen to somebody else," she added. Eventually, McIntosh was slapped with rape and assault charges along with many others. According to reports, he will be taken to a court this week for a pretrial hearing.
Universal Health Services released a statement regarding the case. The statement read: “In response to your questions, the allegation from August 2019 was fully investigated by Police and by Fairmount Behavioral Health. The internal investigation by Fairmount Behavioral Health found the allegation to be unsubstantiated. The employee referenced was terminated in 2019 for violating Facility operating procedures. Due to HIPAA patient privacy laws, we cannot comment on the specific patient referenced. We strive for excellence in all aspects of operations including maintaining and adhering to policies and procedures intended to safeguard patient safety and comfort.”
It added, “Our facility has policies and procedures in place that include complete and thorough pre-hire background checks. We take any allegations by patients and/or staff seriously. We report incidents and allegations to local police, as appropriate, for further investigation and follow-up. Police are called for several reasons including for allegations made outside of the facility and prior to admission. Most of the time, allegations are unsubstantiated. Fairmount Behavioral Health has a long legacy of providing high quality, compassionate and evidence-based behavioral health services to thousands of patients over several decades. We serve adolescents and adults in a healing and compassionate environment. Individuals come to Fairmount Behavioral Health for treatment and care of behavioral health conditions including depression, anxiety, complex trauma, psychosis and substance use disorders."
Meanwhile, Pamila Lew, a California attorney with advocacy group Disabilityrightsca.org, said she has heard several cases where patients were abused by hospital staff. "Staff are taking advantage of the fact that the residents, they are very vulnerable. Anytime when you have a locked setting, that's kind of closed off to the public, it just lends itself to possible abuse that's very difficult to track and crack down on," Lew mentioned.