A 17-year-old boy with a mental disability living in a Baton Rouge community home is accused of raping another one of the disabled residents Tuesday evening.
According to the police report, Andrew Wilson went into the 20-year-old victim’s bedroom, pinned him to his bed and raped him at the Harmony Center Inc. on Elissalde Street, the Baton Rouge Police report says. Multiple entities, including the state Department of Health and Hospitals, the Advocacy Center and Harmony Center Inc. are investigating the incident.
One overnight staffer at the home told police she went to the victim’s bedroom that night to investigate why the door was closed, and the victim told her Wilson had sexually assaulted him, the report says.
Police took Wilson to headquarters and, when asked about the allegations, he said he had been “messing” with the victim earlier that night, the report says.
Mike McClanahan, who answered the phone at the 2241 Elissalde St. center, said that location houses mentally challenged residents but referred all other questions to the main office.
“We are in the process of completing a full internal investigation,” said Lauren Ray, spokeswoman for Harmony Center Inc., which operates a number of residential centers in south Louisiana. “The reports have been made to the appropriate agency, and medical examinations have been done. There are no other comments at this time.”
Wilson was booked Wednesday into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of first-degree rape, and his bond is $50,000.
Ray declined to comment on whether the center will continue to operate while the investigation is underway. Collis Temple Jr., who runs Harmony Center Inc., did not respond to multiple phone calls for comment.
“We are deeply concerned with the allegations of a possible rape at Harmony Center,” said Ashley Lewis, spokeswoman for DHH, which licenses and certifies the intermediate-care facility. “In addition to the ongoing police investigation of this matter, the department is investigating the alleged incident to ensure that all state licensing standards are met and maintained, and that the facility has necessary safeguards in place to protect their residents.”
The Advocate requested the facility’s most recent inspection reports Thursday from DHH but has not received them yet.
Katy Martinez, a regional coordinator at the Advocacy Center, Louisiana’s advocacy system for the disabled and elderly, said staff from its Community Living Ombudsman program had plans to visit the site Friday.
“We’re going to look into the matter now that we’re aware of it,” Martinez said.
Follow Danielle Maddox on Twitter, @Dani_Maddox4.