Patients at California’s board-and-care centers for the developmentally disabled have accused caretakers of molestation and rape 36 times during the past four years, but police assigned to protect them did not complete even the simplest tasks associated with investigating the alleged crimes, reports California Watch. The Office of Protective Services, the police force at California’s five developmental centers, failed to order a single hospital-supervised rape examination for any of these alleged victims between 2009 and 2012. At most police departments, using a “rape kit” to collect evidence would be considered routine.
The procedure, performed by specially trained nurses, is widely regarded as the best way to find evidence of sexual abuse. Without physical evidence, it can be nearly impossible to solve sex crimes, especially those committed against people with cerebral palsy and profound intellectual disabilities. Patients suffered molestation, forced oral sex, and vaginal lacerations. But for years, the state-run police force has moved so slowly and ineffectively that predators have stayed a step ahead of law enforcement or abused new victims. State officials ordered retraining for officers and added new procedures to better protect patients after earlier stories by California Watch.