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‘She Can’t Tell Us What’s Wrong’

Residents pass by an outward corridor during a Rainier School in Buckley, Wash., a state-run caring trickery for people with egghead disabilities, in 2010.

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Ted S. Warren/AP

Editor’s note: This news includes striking and unfortunate descriptions of passionate assault.

The plant couldn’t tell anyone what happened that night. She was a lady with an egghead incapacity who doesn’t pronounce words. So a purported rape was discovered, according to a military report, usually by collision — when a staff workman pronounced she walked into a woman’s room and saw her trainer with his pants down.

Early in a morning on Nov. 13, 2016, military were called to a lodge during a Rainier School, a state establishment in farming Washington, for adults with egghead disabilities. They arrested Terry Wayne Shepard and took him to a military station. Shepard, a longtime administrator in a building, denied that he’d had sex with a infirm woman. Police wanted a DNA representation for testing; Shepard said, according to a papers that charged him in court, that he had already given his DNA representation “in courtesy to a before passionate attack claim 2 to 3 years ago.”

The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

For Some With Intellectual Disabilities, Ending Abuse Starts With Sex Ed

NPR investigated passionate assaults opposite people with egghead disabilities. We found that they are some of a easiest and many visit victims of passionate assault. Their risk is during slightest 7 times a rate for people yet disabilities. That comes from unpublished U.S. Department of Justice information performed by NPR. And that guess is roughly positively an undercount. For one thing, many victims — such as a lady during a Rainier School — can’t pronounce or have problem speaking. So they can’t news a crime.

Another reason a genuine series is expected higher: The sovereign information do not embody a 373,000 people who live in organisation homes. Nor do a information count people who live in state institutions — where other examine shows a risk is higher. So a lady during a Rainier School would not have been counted.

“It’s a crime scene”

It’s a prolonged outing for Cathy McIvor, from her home in Arizona to a state establishment in farming Washington where her sister, Maryann, lives. It’s a balmy morning, and Mount Rainier looms, vast and luminous, as McIvor drives down a prolonged highway to a Rainier School in Buckley, Wash. And when she gets there, a staff has Maryann dressed and prepared — and watchful by herself outward a one-story lodge where she lives.

Maryann doesn’t promulgate with words. But when she spots her sister pushing down a highway her face lights adult and her whole physique moves with excitement, and she creates sounds of joy.

But McIvor refuses to go inside this lodge where her sister lives. She doesn’t wish to see her sister’s room — given of what happened there months before. “It’s a crime scene. Let’s get genuine here. It’s a crime scene. For how many years? Who knows? Who will ever know?”

Cathy McIvor (left) takes her sister, Maryann, out for a hamburger in Tacoma, Wash. “Hamburger” is one of a few dozen difference Maryann can contend with pointer language.

Courtesy of Cathy McIvor


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Courtesy of Cathy McIvor

Cathy McIvor (left) takes her sister, Maryann, out for a hamburger in Tacoma, Wash. “Hamburger” is one of a few dozen difference Maryann can contend with pointer language.

Courtesy of Cathy McIvor

Maryann is a lady who was a plant of a purported rape on that Nov morning. NPR does not use a final names of survivors of passionate assault, unless they cite their full name be used.

McIvor stays outside. But Maryann wants to uncover her room. She is thin, roughly fragile. Her hair is short, her shoulders hunched forward. She keeps her elbows focussed and her hands tighten to her chest or face. She takes radio writer Anna Boiko-Weyrauch by a palm and leads her down a gymnasium to a tiny room with a pointer on a doorway that says “Maryann.” It’s a room she shares with another woman. Maryann is 58. She has lived during a Rainier School given she was a teen.

Maryann wants to uncover a publisher her pinkish bedspread. It’s new given what happened here in November. And a framed cinema of magnolias on a wall. They’re new, too. A staff person, who has cared for Maryann for decades, took her to a store to buy them.

A debate pathologist here taught Maryann a few dozen signs. Hungry. Thirsty. Hamburger. Maryann puts her hands usually underneath her eyes and flips them. It’s her pointer for “happy.” And she lets out a loud, robust laugh.

“What did we do?”

It was usually Hunter Shear’s second week on a job, covering a night change during a tiny building that was home to a few dozen adults with egghead disabilities. She was usually 20 years old, and after a integrate weeks of training she had been reserved to a overnight change of a lodge called 2005 House. These sum come from a military report. At around 1 a.m., Shear went looking for her administrator to get accede to take a break.

Terry Wayne Shepard, a night supervisor, had worked during a Rainier School for 34 years, 20 of them in this tiny cottage. He had reserved Shear to a men’s wing. He took a women’s wing.

Shear told military she walked down a gymnasium and found Shepard — in Maryann’s room. She pronounced her shoe squeaked on a floor. She pronounced her administrator — dismayed — incited around. According to a prosecution’s request that charged him, he saw her, and said: “Oh, s***.”

Abused And Betrayed

When officers from a Buckley Police Department arrived, Shear’s eyes were red and watery, and she was holding short, shoal breaths. Shepard was sitting quietly on a couch. “What did we do?” he asked a officer.

The military news sum what Shear says she saw. An officer wrote: “Shear suggested me that Shepard had his pants and underwear down around his knees. Shear suggested me that Shepard had a client’s legs pinned adult to her chest and that he was creation behind and onward movements like he was carrying sex. … Shear told me that she saw Shepard’s make penis come out from between a client’s legs when he incited around …”

Police arrested Shepard for suspected rape and took him to a station. There, he denied what Shear pronounced she had seen. He “denied all allegations of passionate contact” with a infirm woman.

Other allegations

Maryann’s sister, Cathy McIvor, got a phone call during her home in Arizona, revelation her it was feared her sister had been assaulted.

She afterwards tracked down Maryann during a hospital, where she had been taken to be examined for rape. McIvor called a assistance who was with Maryann. And a really initial thing a assistance did was to demonstrate her guess about Shepard. McIvor remembers a lady revelation her, “I don’t know since they’ve left him on a hall; he’s had a before passionate allegation.”

That angers McIvor. “So since would they leave this masculine on a hall, with developmentally [disabled] womanlike residents, during night? On a tomb shift?”

Indeed, there had been suspicions about Shepard, yet until that night, never a grave assign opposite him.

A Tech-Based Tool To Address Campus Sexual Assault

Prosecution papers uncover that during a military hire early that morning, officers wanted a DNA representation from Shepard.

Shepard said: You’ve already got my DNA. From another passionate attack claim dual or 3 years ago. That’s according to assign documents.

Washington state officials, with a Department of Social and Health Services, pronounced they can’t pronounce about a purported rape of McIvor’s sister given it’s a tentative authorised matter.

But Lisa Copeland, a mouthpiece for a department, pronounced that in a progressing rape allegation, several masculine staffers — including Shepard — were asked to contention DNA samples. No compare was found, for Shepard or any other staffer. Shepard and a others were cleared.

Copeland says that happened not a few years ago as military contend Shepard said, yet in 2006.

The state organisation took all allegations seriously, Copeland says. And she told NPR about a formerly undisclosed claim opposite Shepard: The state got an unknown tip that Shepard “had an affair” with a proprietor during a private nursing home, where he also worked as a train driver. The mouthpiece says: “The claim was investigated and found to be untrue.” That one, too, was about a decade old, from 2007.

The day after Shepard was charged with a rape of Maryann, a Washington state organisation in assign of controlling state institutions — a Division of Residential Care Services — sent a organisation of investigators to a Rainier School.

A proprietor walks opposite a campus of a Rainier School in 2010. Rainier houses about 310 adults.

Ted S. Warren/AP


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Ted S. Warren/AP

And right away, they found some-more allegations opposite Shepard. The news from RCS was initial unclosed by Disability Rights Washington, partial of a inhabitant and congressionally saved network of lawyers who paint people with disabilities. The news describes a purported rape that night of Maryann and how she was taken to a sanatorium for a rape exam, nonetheless it doesn’t use her name.

NPR showed a state agency’s news to McIvor, a initial time, she said, she had schooled of it.

According to a report, state investigators showed adult during a Rainier School and, right away, another lady with an egghead incapacity who lives there came brazen and pronounced a same masculine assaulted her. Prosecutors contend this lady — 66 years aged — pronounced Shepard strike her in a head, that he had overwhelmed her breasts and what she called her “private spot.” Still, a lady was shaken and “very worried” that she would get in difficulty for revelation on Shepard.

And that wasn’t all. The news says staff during a establishment told a investigators that they suspected there were other intensity victims. They said, according to a report, that Shepard cared for a integrate of women who had been behaving out lately, and that one of a women was removing additional courtesy from Shepard. According to a report: “One intensity plant perceived ‘treats’ and ‘extra showers’ from a staff member.”

Copeland, a Social and Health Services Department spokeswoman, says those suspicions were afterwards investigated, yet no explanation was found.

Shepard was charged with rape of Maryann and for holding “indecent liberties” with a second lady who came forward.

Shepard’s hearing is scheduled to start on Jan. 25. McIvor brought a apart lawsuit — a polite fit for indemnification — opposite a state, and that goes to hearing subsequent year. State officials contend they can’t criticism on a polite lawsuit.

Shepard, who is sitting in jail available trial, did not respond to a minute from NPR. His profession says a allegations will be “fully contested” in court.

The state slip agency’s review faulted a Rainier School for unwell to strengthen residents. In a report, it pronounced administrators knew there was a problem yet didn’t take simple stairs to forestall some-more abuse. Staff wasn’t lerned to mark abuse. And when assaults were detected or suspected, a victims got no therapy or support.

The establishment was forced to make changes. Its “correction plan” enclosed improved training of staff and some-more monitoring of a night shift, including unannounced visits.

Natalie waits for lunch during a home she shares with her family in Northern California. In 2011, her family could tell something was wrong. She was in pain and couldn’t nap during night. “There was something she couldn’t tell us,” her mother, Rosemary, says.

Talia Herman for NPR


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Talia Herman for NPR

Natalie waits for lunch during a home she shares with her family in Northern California. In 2011, her family could tell something was wrong. She was in pain and couldn’t nap during night. “There was something she couldn’t tell us,” her mother, Rosemary, says.

Talia Herman for NPR

And sovereign auditors, separately, have found other widespread problems during a Rainier School — including bad medical caring that led to illness and presumably deaths. In Dec 2016, sovereign Medicaid stopped reimbursing a establishment for any new proprietor it admitted.

NPR collected information from state agencies that are tasked with providing services and safeguarding people with egghead disabilities. We asked how mostly these state agencies got reports of suspected passionate abuse of someone with an egghead disability. States have an requirement to afterwards try to settle either those allegations can be substantiated.

In Texas, fewer than 1 percent of allegations were confirmed. In Florida, about 5 percent were verified. In Ohio, 23 percent were substantiated between 2012 and 2015. In Pennsylvania, 34 percent of allegations were confirmed.

Across a country, we found mixed cases of victims who couldn’t pronounce or contend what happened. Cases where a suspected rape was unclosed usually given of some astonishing proof.

In Charlotte, N.C., a mom gave her daughter a bath and found bruising.

In Missouri, an intellectually infirm lady went to a doctor, who detected she was pregnant.

And in Boynton Beach, Fla., detectives reopened a cold box of a lady who got profound 13 years ago. Last June, detectives ran a DNA test, got a compare and arrested a man. But in November, a decider threw out a box given a government of stipulations had expired.

“She can’t tell us what’s wrong”

Rosemary adjusts one of Natalie’s many dolls.

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Talia Herman for NPR

Natalie’s family was disturbed and undetermined when Natalie stopped sleeping by a night. It was 2011, and Natalie’s mom and sisters could tell something wasn’t right. In her room, filled with over 100 dolls and pressed animals backing a bookshelves, business tops and corners, Natalie moaned by a night. She has a poignant egghead incapacity and is incompetent to use words.

She couldn’t sleep. She’d lay adult on her knees in bed. She couldn’t distortion down.

Natalie, who is 35, spends her days during a family’s residence in Northern California. Her mom and her sisters do flattering most all for her — feed her, dress her, put her on a toilet, give her remedy — all day and night.

Patricia (from left), Natalie and their mother, Rosemary, lay in their home in Northern California. Natalie, a lady with an egghead disability, is incompetent to speak. She couldn’t explain what was wrong and doctors couldn’t figure out since she was in pain.

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Talia Herman for NPR

Patricia (from left), Natalie and their mother, Rosemary, lay in their home in Northern California. Natalie, a lady with an egghead disability, is incompetent to speak. She couldn’t explain what was wrong and doctors couldn’t figure out since she was in pain.

Talia Herman for NPR

“There was something she couldn’t tell us,” says her mother, Rosemary. “But we had her mixed times during a doctor’s. Almost each month there was something going on with her. And she can’t tell us what’s wrong.”

Doctors treated Natalie for sinus infections, for leavening infections — for some-more than a year. But a pain kept entrance back.

Until one day, a new alloy during an obligatory caring core — a lady — attempted a exam no one had suspicion of before.

Julie Neward binds her sister Natalie’s hand.

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Talia Herman for NPR

The doctor’s bureau called Natalie’s sister Julie Neward. “I’ll never forget when we got a news,” she says. “It was right after we got off of work. Probably left early that day due to traffic. Maybe around 4 o’clock and we was on … Mission Boulevard.”

The news repelled her. “And they said, ‘Julie, we need to pierce your sister Natalie in.’ And we said, ‘OK, why?’ ‘She’s been diagnosed with gonorrhea.’ And I’m like: ‘What? No, that’s not possible.’ She’s like a baby. She doesn’t even lick people. we cried a whole approach home.”

Natalie (right), who has a poignant egghead disability, is hugged by her part-time caretaker Mariah Hofstadter while being taken on a travel in a neighborhood.

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Talia Herman for NPR

Police did investigate. They interviewed organisation during an outward caring facility. There were no organisation during a residence where Natalie lived. Natalie couldn’t tell detectives what happened. The review went nowhere. No one was ever punished. No one was ever stopped.

The attack continues to haunt Natalie and her family. Natalie continued to have nightmares. Rosemary took on a full-time caring of her daughter. And another daughter, Patricia, put her possess career on hold, to assistance out with a round-the-clock care. Julie co-founded a California section of a Sibling Leadership Network, an advocacy and support organisation of people who have a family member with a disability.

“But she has feelings”

Cathy McIvor struggles, too, with what’s best now for her infirm sister. She thinks about relocating Maryann divided from a Rainier School, divided from a lodge where she was allegedly raped.

The reason McIvor has driven to a Rainier School on this day is to pronounce to a staff psychologist. She wants to know how he thinks Maryann would conflict to a move. But while she’s in a car, a clergyman calls. He says he can’t accommodate with her.

McIvor thinks of relocating her sister out of Washington state and to Arizona where McIvor lives with her husband. But it’s not easy. Maryann gets Medicaid services in Washington state. She would have to settle residency in Arizona to turn authorised for identical services there.

Maryann has lived during a Rainier School in Washington state for some-more than 40 years. It’s where she was attacked. Her sister thinks of relocating her, yet it’s not easy to do.

Courtesy of Cathy McIvor


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Courtesy of Cathy McIvor

And a Rainier School is Maryann’s home, a place she has lived for around 40 years. She has had a same roommate for 20 years. It angers McIvor that a staff chairman is charged with raping her sister. But McIvor knows there are also many staff people here, too, who caring about her sister and whom her sister relies upon. One assistance has worked with Maryann for 25 years and is a chairman who knows her best. She was a one who took Maryann selling for a new comforter and cinema to put on her wall.

And it was that assistance who took Maryann to see her mom as she was dying.

Three weeks after a purported assault, Maryann’s mom died. Cathy McIvor never told a failing lady about what happened during a Rainier School that night.

But a mother’s genocide was another trauma, right away, for Maryann. Before her mom died, Maryann went home each month for a few days to stay with her. But when her mom died, a residence was sold. McIvor says Maryann can’t know since she doesn’t see her mom anymore. Even yet she went to a funeral. Even yet McIvor takes her to a cemetery. And Maryann can’t know that her home is gone.

“Home.” It’s one of a few difference Maryann can sign. And on this day, Maryann signs it over and over. Her fingers and ride together, relocating from impertinence to ear.

And afterwards she signs another word she knows: “Mom.”

“No Mom,” McIvor says, looking into her sister’s eyes.

“She’s still doing that,” McIvor says, and sighs. “I’d hoped that … going to a tomb to see a tomb tract would have helped.”

Maryann spreads her hand, with her ride to her chin.

“That’s a pointer for Mom,” McIvor says. And afterwards to her sister: “And where is Mom? You know. We won’t see Mom ever again. You know that.”

McIvor explains: “But she has feelings.

“Don’t you, honey?

“Like everybody else. Don’t you? Sad and insane and angry. we know we do.

“She does.”

Then McIvor drives with her sister to Maryann’s favorite restaurant, for a hamburger, her favorite lunch.

Barbara outpost Woerkom, Robert Benincasa and Meg Anderson assisted with stating for this story.