The parents of an austistic boy who lived at Woods Services, a facility for the intellectually disabled, have filed a lawsuit against the facility, alleging their son was sexually assaulted by a fellow resident.
The boy’s parents installed a camera in his room to keep an eye on his care. On July 14, a video recording allegedly revealed that a larger teenage boy went into the boy’s room and assaulted him for more than three minutes before an aide intervened.
The mother called Woods Services and told them that she was upset that no one notified her about the incident and that someone should take her son to the hospital. However, he wasn’t taken to the hospital until the following day.
“She is aghast, in shock, can’t believe it,” Michael D. Shaffer, the family’s lawyer, said. “No one had contacted her. No one had told her what happened.”
The lawsuit claims that Woods was negligent when caring for the boy, who is severely autistic and nonverbal. It also alleges that the camera in the boy’s room was temporarily disabled for two weeks.
Cheryl Kauffman, Woods’ spokesperson, said in a statement that the allegations in the lawsuit are outrageous.
“The video described in the press release as showing a sexual assault on Shaffer’s clients’ son shows nothing of the sort. The assertion that Woods did nothing in response is similarly false,” she said. “The boy who came into their son’s room was there for approximately 3 minutes before being discovered and escorted out by Woods’ staff. Woods’ staff made sure plaintiffs’ son was safe. There was no cause for an immediate trip to the E.R. because there was no evidence that a sexual assault took place or that the young man was in any way injured.”