Lawsuit claims Greenville Co. woman in mental health unit sexually assaulted multiple times by another patient, alleges negligence by staff


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A Greenville County woman is accusing an upstate facility of negligence. In court documents, she said she was sexually assaulted multiple times by another patient at Prisma Health’s mental health unit.

Pages beyond pages, detailing what attorney Austin Watts’ client claims happened over the course of three days in 2018.

“What we don’t believe is in dispute is that while she was in the care and custody of Prisma, another patient came in the room and assaulted her and then there was multiple sexual assaults after that,” said Attorney for Plaintiff, Austin Watts.

He represents the plaintiff in this case who is listed as a Jane Doe. The suit claims it started when Doe was involuntarily committed at the Prisma mental health unit in Greenville for 72 hours. Documents show she was sedated.

A short time later is when the complaint said another patient entered her room and raped her. A patient whose court records show has a lengthy criminal history. The complaint claims the man was brought to Prisma by law enforcement following a dispute in Greenville County.

Watts told 7 News, the alleged sexual assaults were all recorded on security footage.

“We’ve seen the video. It shows the assaults taking place within Prisma,” Watts told us.

In the complaint, Doe said she went to security staff and nurses asking for help.

“According to the allegations which we believe to be true, that’s why we filed them in the complaint, they just sent her back to her room,” said Watts.

Doe claims these assaults continued over her stay in the facility. The second reportedly happening in a common room. A third, she said in the complaint, back in her room. After being discharged, the report said Doe told her family what happened.

The man she identified as assaulting her is now in jail.

“She just wants some justification. What happened to her, what harmed her was not her fault,” Watts said.

A spokesperson with Prisma Health told us, they take all patient complaints very seriously. Adding, this allegation is extremely concerning. However, because of patient privacy laws, they are not able to give any more details at this time.

You can find the full statement from Prisma below.

Prisma Health Spokesperson:

β€œPatient safety is our highest priority at Prisma Health. We take all patient complaints very seriously, and this allegation is extremely concerning. Due to patient privacy laws and pending litigation, we are not able to provide any more comments or information at this time.” 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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