Lawsuit Filed: Developmentally Disabled Woman Sexually Assaulted
Sacramento, Calif. — Kimberly Stitt, a developmentally disabled woman suffering from the mental capacity of a six-year-old child, required training and supervision to carry out activities of daily living, and therefore, became a patient of Training Toward Self-Reliance, Inc. Upon taking Stitt on as a patient, the facility was fully aware of Stitt’s limited mental capacity and promised a safe training environment with constant supervision during program hours, the promise was hollow and unkept. In fact, in early October 2016, Training Toward left Stitt unsupervised with Charles Peoples, while a 52-year-old male client who had previously exhibited aggressive and violent behavior took Stitt to an unmonitored and unsupervised section of the facility, where he sexually assaulted Stitt.
Garcia & Artigliere filed a lawsuit against Training Toward Self-Reliance, Inc. for elder abuse, negligent hiring and supervision, and assault and battery.
“Kimberly needed help and sought professional assistance from Training Toward Self-Reliance, Inc.; however, the facility did the opposite of what they were hired, and paid, to do, failing to take appropriate any action to protect Kimberly from the known predator Charles Peoples,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “Upon learning of the sexual assault, Kimberly’s family sought an explanation from Training Toward Self-Reliance, Inc., only to find out the shocking regularity and frequency the facility allowed Peoples to be alone with Kimberly. Moreover, the staff admittedly knew of the unsupervised interactions between the two, stating that Kimberly, a developmentally disabled adult with the mental capacity of a six-year-old child, was competent enough to handle her dealings with Peoples. Had the staff not wrongfully withheld care from Kimberly or taken the most rudimentary of precautions to safeguard her from Peoples, she would not have been sexually assaulted.”
Allegations and Background
It’s alleged that upon Stitt becoming a client of Training Toward Self-Reliance, Inc., the facility was aware she suffered from the mental capacity of a six-year-old child, rendering her unable to perform normal, daily activities, and requiring services to protect her from health and safety hazards.
The lawsuit states that in early October 2016, Stitt was participating in training and receiving services at Training Toward Self-Reliance, Inc. While unsupervised and unmonitored by the facility staff, Charles Peoples allegedly took Stitt to an unmonitored and unsupervised section of the facility, where he sexually assaulted Stitt after physically and verbally abusing her. According to the lawsuit, this incident caused Stitt to suffer from withdrawals, hysterical outbursts, resistance to physical contact, excessive crying and increased difficulty performing daily activities, among other issues and injuries.
The lawsuit alleges that Training Toward Self-Reliance, Inc. knew of Peoples’ prior aggressive, violent and sexually deviant actions toward other facility clients, making him lawfully unsuitable for acceptance and retention as a client or as a program participant. Further, the facility failed to employ staff as necessary to ensure proper care and supervision to protect Stitt from Peoples. To compound matters, it was discovered the facility allegedly allowed six other developmentally disabled clients to wander from the facility unsupervised, constituting an ongoing reckless regard for the health and safety of its clients.