FOREST PARK — The family of a resident of Governor’s Glen Memory Care and Assisted Living says a 94-year-old woman was sexually assaulted there last year and has filed suit in State Court.
The malpractice case was filed June 9 by the woman’s son, John Golden, against a John Doe, as well as Governors Glen Assisted Living Community LLC, Forest Park GA RealCo LLC, Canopy Lifestyles LLC, Birchwood Healthcare Partners LLC and Southern Grace Hospice and Palliative Care LLC. Judge Linda S. Cowen will hear the case.
The suit alleges that Curliene Golden, now deceased, was a resident at the facility in July 2018 when she “was sexually assaulted and/or forcibly raped by an assailant at the Governor’s Glen Memory Care Assisted Living.” Golden died about six weeks later. She is buried with her husband, World War II veteran Robert Golden Jr., in the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.
The suit also accuses “the Defendants’ violations of federal and state law and regulations in the operation of a long-term care facility, negligence per se, professional negligence, simple negligence and breach of contract in the provision of assisted living care, treatment and services led directly and proximately to severe and life-threatening injuries, illness, pain, suffering, and the death of Curliene Golden.”
Specifically, Golden’s son alleges that Governor’s Glen and the related companies failed to provide adequate security to residents and that they did not do a thorough background check on the alleged assailant. He also claims that Southern Grace violated state regulations by not following written care standards. He is demanding a jury trial.
Governor’s Glen is an assisted living facility for people with memory issues like Alzheimer’s disease. It is not a nursing home in that it does not provide advanced medical care, according to the facility’s website. However, it does provide “24-hour staffing within a secured environment,” as well as help with meals, medication, bathing, dressing, walking, and using the toilet.
At a press conference Tuesday, the family and their attorney, Terance Madden, said Golden had reported vaginal and buttock pain to facility staffers on Sept. 5, 2008. According to the suit, the alleged assailant may or may not have been an employee but is known to the defendants, who were responsible for Golden’s safety.
According to the Forest Park Police Department, who responded to the report, the victim told nursing staff around 9:30 a.m on Sept. 5, 2018 that a man had touched her “inappropriately” the night before. Golden, who could neither speak nor move, used a visual board to communicate. A hospice care employee “checked the area and observed a semen-like or other fluid substance in Ms. Golden’s pull-up type undergarment.”
However, according to the suit, the facility did not contact Forest Park Police immediately. Her son was not contacted until 12:15 p.m. Several hours after the alleged attack, Golden was transported first to Southern Regional Hospital, then to the Southern Crescent Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center in Hampton, where she repeated her story and she was found to have been raped and/or sexually assaulted.
“After an investigation, which included gathering evidence from the victim, taking witness statements from employees, and sending off evidence to be analyzed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, no suspect was developed,” according to FPPD.
A manager at Governor’s Glenn declined comment, referring the News to the facility’s legal counsel, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood and Boyer of Tallahassee, Fla. No one at the firm was available to comment by press time, according to a person who answered the phone there.
Madden called FPPD’s response “incompetent.” Family members said police took five hours to respond, delaying evidence collection.
In response to Tuesday’s press conference, FPPD issued a press release asking anyone with information to come forward, adding, “Due to no identification of a viable suspect, the case was filed as inactive. However, like with any other case, it can be re-opened pending any new information such as a DNA profile, new witnesses or new information.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Forest Park Police Department at 404-366-4141 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.