Fox4KC reported on the new Missouri law that requires nursing and other group homes to report sexual assaults to law enforcement. Current law only required reporting to the state agencies involved. The mandatory reporting requirement for long-term care facilities will prevent cover-ups and increase the quality of supervision by the regulatory agencies.
This law was a result of a sad and tragic story. Margaret (not her real name) was raped in her Missouri nursing home and died one day later. The facility notified the state but mistakenly thought the Russell family had called police. In fact, the family believed the home had called police, too. By the time they were notified, detectives said the evidence was no good and no one was ever arrested in the death of the 93 -year-old woman.
“We applaud the Missouri legislature for passing this critical piece of legislation that will provide important protections to long-term care residents,” said Lynn Faunda Donovan, executive director of VOYCE, a long-term care ombudsman program for 21 Missouri counties.
In a statement, the group noted that between 1995 and 2016, there were 128 known cases of elder sexual abuse and assault with only 20 ending in convictions.
VOYCE and Russell believe mandatory reporting will help law enforcement investigate cases before they go cold.