HANOVER, IN (WAVE) – A Madison, Ind., man is behind bars, accused of raping a dementia patient.
David Garcia is charged with one count of rape, a level-three felony. Hanover police said it happened Saturday at the Hanover Nursing Center. Garcia was arrested Wednesday after a co-worker reported him having sex with a 74-year-old female dementia patient.
“He had been a past employee there and had returned recently to it as a CNA or certified nursing assistant,” said Chief Joshua Taylor, of the Hanover Police Department. “That’s the position he was working in the capacity of this evening.”
According to police records, a co-worker saw a man with his pants down and a woman on the bed, believed to be a patient, and reported it to co-workers immediately to be investigated.
When questioned, the victim told investigators she’d had sex with a man and pointed toward her groin.
“As of right now, with the information we have, we felt comfortable filing that rape charge, but will continue to review this going forward, if any additional charges will pop up during the investigation,” Jefferson County (Ind.) Prosecutor David Sutter said.
Garcia admitted he was in that room but denied the alleged assault, trying to explain to police why his bodily fluids may have been in the room.
Police said Garcia had prior arrests but nothing like this. Taylor said it’s so important to be careful when hiring people in charge of caring for vulnerable populations, like dementia patients.
“You do everything you can to ensure you have the right person for the position there,” Taylor said. “From the get go, a lot of times with investigations we have, there’s no indicators, nothing in the history, nothing in past to give the red flag.”
If convicted, Garcia could face up to 16 years in prison.
Sutter said his office is weighing the charges in the case seriously because of the kind of crime and the position of trust Garcia was in during the alleged rape.
“As a community, you always want to try to take care of your most vulnerable,” Sutter said. “We certainly feel like whether it’s infants or folks that are for whatever reason in nursing centers, those are people that we need to take care of and we obviously take that very seriously. Community safety is the utmost importance for my office and the Hanover Police Department.”
Hanover police said the investigation is ongoing, and they’re speaking with others at the nursing center to ensure there are no other victims but right now, they believe this was an isolated incident.
Garcia is expected to be in court Friday for an initial hearing.
The administrator at the Hanover Nursing Center declined to comment about the incident or about Garcia’s arrest, saying she couldn’t discuss the matter while it’s under investigation.