Local News

Investigators Say Chatham County Rest Home Patient Was Raped

Posted February 22, 2000

— Police say someone raped an 85-year-old woman inside The Laurels of Chatham nursing home. The incident was so violent that the woman was left with internal injuries.

Lisa Braxton, a relative of the victim, says she is shocked about the incident. Now, she wants answers.

"I would like to understand what was going through their minds and what they were thinking," Braxton says. "Why they would want to do such a thing to an 85-year-old woman who is helpless that cannot defend herself?"

Phillip Johnson, nursing home administrator, says he has a lot of investigating to do.

"It's tough for everyone in the facility, and it's tough for the family, and it's tough for everyone on staff," Johnson says. "It's very unacceptable, and we will get to the bottom of it as soon as we can."

Braxton says relatives have been suspicious for the past few months after finding bruises on the victim's body.

"We did think that there might have been someone being rough with her or handling her rough," Braxton says.

The victim has Alzheimer's disease and cannot tell the police any details about the attack. Investigators believe she may have been raped sometime early Tuesday morning.

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