Rape Allegations Surface As Lakeview Aims For August 1 Closure

Jul 2, 2015

Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center in Effingham is telling employees it plans to close as early as August 1. This comes amid new reports of a sexual assault at the facility.

In an email sent to employees, Lakeview’s executive director Patricia Reed says staff shouldn't plan on having a job on August 1, although closing the facility could take longer. Reed says plans to sell the facility have not materialized.

“We have struggled together over the past almost three months to ‘turn the corner’ with regard to our status with New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services...and our continuing plan of correction,” Reed told staff.

Jake Leon, communications director with the Department of Health and Human Services, says the state has more closely monitored Lakeview since new allegations of a rape.

"There has been increased oversight of Lakeview...and increased expectations of what Lakeview needs to do to ensure the safety of the residents there," says Leon.

Lakeview’s clients are minors and adults with brain injuries and developmental disabilities. Police and the local circuit court confirm an individual was arrested on June 11 on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Dick Cohen with the Disability Rights Center says his organization became aware of the incident shortly thereafter.

"We received a report that a male resident was sexually assaulted by another male resident and that that was confirmed in a rape kit done at the hospital," says Cohen. "We also learned apparently the staff on duty was asleep."

Cohen also says this was not the first time this perpetrator attacked the victim.

Governor Maggie Hassan shut down new admissions to Lakeview last fall, and in April the state pulled the facility’s special education license. Lakeview did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.