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New Allegations Arise in Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Garcia & Artigliere

Los Angeles, Calif. – New allegations have surfaced in the Sylvia Mathes v. Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) case involving an elderly woman, Sylvia Mathes, who was allegedly physically assaulted by a fellow male resident.

Through rigorous research and depositions by Garcia & Artigliere, the law firm filed an amended complaint alleging that MPTF was aware that the male resident was a sexual predator, including sexually assaulting 13 female residents, exposing himself in an aggressive manner to at least two staff and entering uninvited into the rooms of an additional nine female residents within a four-month period.​

“Based on what we know now, Motion Picture & Television Fund appears to have known full well that they were housing a predator and rather than protecting their residents such as Sylvia from this predator they actually laid her as prey,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Sylvia sought medical assistance from Motion Picture & Television Fund and instead, the facility did the opposite of what they were hired and paid to do, failing to take appropriate action to protect Sylvia from the mentally ill man on multiple occasions. In order to promote profit at the expense of residents, the facility refused to provide the necessary staff so at one point, facility employee Diane Shaw was assigned to not only provide one-to-one supervision to the male resident at all times but was also required to take care of every other resident in the wing of the facility. Unfortunately, not only did Sylvia unnecessarily suffer from multiple sexual assaults at the hands of this predator, but many others did as well.”

Allegations and Background

According to the amended lawsuit, prior to the male resident’s admission, MPTF’s notes actually confirm advisement to the facility from the male resident’s family member that while living at home, the male resident would “often unzip his pants and pull his penis out.”

The lawsuit states that the facility’s response to address these known issues was to begin a campaign of chemically sedating and restraining the male resident rather than putting proper interventions into place, such as additional staff, which would have cut into MPTF’s financial bottom line. The facility allegedly added the psychotropic medication Celexa to the male resident’s already toxic pharmaceutical cocktail to control libido. A mere 11 days later, the drug cocktail was not working and the male resident had another significant exhibition of “sexual disinhibition,” as noted in the faculty care plan on April 28, 2017, although no witnesses thus far can shed any light as to what happened and to whom.

On May 18, 2017, the male resident entered fellow resident Nancy Renard’s room without permission, climbed upon her while she slept in her bed and exposed himself. The lawsuit states that when the event was reported to Renard’s family, the facility lied, advising only of a simple entry of a resident into Renard’s room. It’s alleged that the facility’s staff intentionally concealed the fact that it was a male resident who had previously been found on top of another female resident in her room with his penis exposed and that in truth, the male resident had been found on top of Renard in her bed with his pants down sexually assaulting her. Garcia & Artigliere has since filed an additional lawsuit on behalf of Renard and her family.

The male resident continued to sexually assault additional female residents, while the response of the facility was to use more drugs, this time Depakote, to chemically restrain the male resident, as well as “leave the light on” in his room.

The situation is now so bothersome and scary to MPTF’s residents and their families that Gerald Sanoff, the son of one of the residents sexually assaulted by the male resident, sent an email on Monday, July 1, 2017 to Linda Healy, the facility’s Director of Geriatric and Palliative Care, warning of the dangers of the male resident. It’s alleged that Healy did nothing and actually claimed to have not read the email until July 5, 2017. In the interim, while Sanoff’s warning was being ignored, the male resident is noted at 2:54 am to have attempted to enter uninvited, not one but two female residents’ rooms.

In early July 2017, two of MPTF’s staff noticed the male resident coming out of Mathes’ room. When they entered her room, they found Mathes disheveled with her top pulled down around her waist and her breasts fully exposed. According to the lawsuit, this event was never reported to anyone, and in fact, was specifically excluded from the Mathes’ chart in the clear hopes the truth would never come out.

The lawsuit states that at this point, MPTF’s staff was not even paying attention to the medication overload they were giving the male resident to chemically restrain him and in doing so, endangered other residents. For example, although Healy prescribed the male resident the drug Desyrel, in incredibly and unacceptably high doses, the male resident was not provided the medication as ordered in the days leading up to July 23. Not surprisingly, the male resident was once again allowed to roam the facility unattended, enter Mathes’ room and sexually assault her for the second time. It’s alleged that as part of the facility’s intent and goal of cover-up, this groping was never disclosed, and in fact, actively hidden.

Even more troubling is the action of conspiracy to cover up the facility’s world of misconduct. Specifically, once the litigation was filed, it’s alleged that the defense attorney (Attorney 1) in this matter called Diane Shaw, one of the facility’s staff, in to speak with him, representing that he was her attorney. During this conversation, Shaw repeatedly told Attorney 1 that he was not her attorney and that he did not represent her. Shaw further told Attorney 1 about not only the groping of Mathes’ breasts by the male resident in the July 23-24, 2017 event but also having found Mathes previously with the male resident leaving her room with her breasts fully exposed. Troublingly, notwithstanding the fact that Shaw had expressly advised Attorney 1 that he did not represent her, Attorney 1 knowingly and falsely misrepresented that he represented Shaw as legal counsel with the most recent occasion being on video and on the record at the deposition of Milton Moratawa taken on December 1, 2017.

Further evidence of the facility’s attempt at a cover-up is the fact that Attorney 1 falsely asserted that the scheduling of Shaw’s deposition must proceed through his office. Recognizing that MPTF’s fraudulent cover-up was about to be exposed by Shaw’s truthful testimony, Attorney 1 falsely asserted that Shaw had pneumonia and she decided that she was not going to appear at her deposition. This was another known and intentional misstatement of truth by Attorney 1. According to Shaw, as she was about to leave for the deposition, she received a telephone call from MPTF’s risk manager, who directed her to not attend the deposition.


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