New York Daily News
A Florida man who worked at a facility for disabled people was arrested Wednesday for allegedly impregnating one of his clients.
Willie Shorter, 58, worked at the Woodsmere Estates Group Home in Rockledge, where he was responsible for caring for a group of people with developmental disabilities, according to Florida Today.
Four years ago, in January 2015, Woodsmere staff discovered that one of Shorter’s female clients, who has the “mental capacity of…a small child,” was pregnant, according to police.
Over a four-year investigation, Rockledge police, the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities interviewed Shorter, but did not have enough evidence to demand a DNA sample, according to Florida Today.
In April 2018, when the unidentified victim accused Shorter of touching her genitals, he voluntarily submitted a DNA sample.
Almost a year later, the sample came back with a positive result and Shorter was arrested Thursday.
“We’ve been in Brevard for 62 years serving people with disabilities. We are absolutely devastated,” CEO David Cooke said, according to Florida Today. “This is devastating for the client, for the family. It’s devastating for the staff who work so hard everyday, working for our clients with significant disabilities.”
In the nine months between submitting his sample and being arrested, Shorter continued to work at the facility, but was moved to a different property, according to Florida Today.
Cooke said his organization had reached out to all 53 clients under Shorter’s watch and insisted that there were no other allegations of abuse.
The woman’s child was born in May 2015 and adopted by her family.
Shorter was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a disabled person and was released after posting a $15,000 bond, according to jail records.
In late January, a nurse at Hacienda HealthCare in Phoenix was arrested after he allegedly raped and impregnated a non-verbal, incapacitated 29-year-old woman who would have been unable to consent.
Nathan Sutherland pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and vulnerable-adult abuse.
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