Another sexual assault reported at Summerville treatment facility

Another sexual assault reported at Summerville treatment facility
A review of calls to Summerville Police for service at Palmetto Behavioral Health for the past three years at a Summerville treatment facility for young boys and girls reveals a history of escapes and reported assaults. (Source: Live 5)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A Summerville treatment facility with a history of issues had another alleged sexual assault earlier this month.

Summerville police officers arrived at Palmetto Behavioral Health on Midland Parkway Nov. 2 just after 11 a.m.

According to the incident report, one juvenile said another juvenile came into the restroom and forced the person to perform oral sex. After further questioning, the victim stated the suspect had threatened rape on three other occasions.

Staff members stated they had five previous reported allegations between the victim and the suspect which were unfounded, according to the report.

The suspect was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

A review of calls to Summerville Police for service for the past three years at a Summerville treatment facility for young boys and girls reveals a history of escapes and reported assaults.

Two other sexual assaults were also reported at Palmetto Behavioral Health earlier this year.

From Aug. 5, 2016 through July 24, 2019 there were 32 reports of children running away from the facility. There have been 16 reported assaults, and two calls for reported sexual assaults.

That includes the report from July 24 when a child told a therapist they had been raped on July 21 and 24.

Two other children were arrested, according to an incident report.

After that incident, the facility’s CEO said measures were being taken to make sure everyone involved was separated.

Palmetto Behavioral Health CEO Lincoln Lawrence released a statement back in August:

"The care and safety of our patients is our top priority. Due to HIPAA privacy laws, I cannot disclose specific information about patients.

Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health has delivered proven success according to our patient satisfaction surveys. Over 90% of our patients indicate they are satisfied with their physician and feel better than they did when they were admitted to our facility.

Palmetto Summerville Behavioral Health is a psychiatric residential treatment facility for boys and girls, ages 7 through high school. We have served the community for over 30 years and provide a structured, therapeutic environment for our children and adolescents. Our services embrace the treatment of psychiatric illness including behavior/conduct disorders, anxiety, depression and children suffering from trauma. It is our constant goal to help our children and adolescents improve their lives for a brighter future."

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