Inappropriate contact reported at Western Pysch
A mother said Tuesday that staff at an Oakland psychiatric facility told her another patient inappropriately touched her son.
Pittsburgh police acting Cmdr. Kevin Kraus confirmed police are investigating the report of the incident at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic.
The boy, 7, is autistic and was referred to Western Psych from Mon Valley Hospital on Thursday night, his mother said. The Tribune-Review is not identifying her to protect her son's identity.
He was admitted to Western Psych on Friday morning, she said. She called staff on Monday after learning that a girl, 8, was sexually assaulted at the facility on March 8.
“They never told me they had an incident like that, or I would have never put my son there,” she said. “That's when they told me my son was touched inappropriately by another patient.”
She said she immediately headed to the hospital, and a doctor called her on the way to explain that another patient who doesn't communicate verbally grabbed her son's genitals on Friday.
She said her son told an employee after seeing the patient do the same thing to the employee. The boy told her he was touched twice, she said.
“They told me this kind of thing happens a lot because they have kids that aren't communicable, and they grab people inappropriately to get a response,” she said. “It shouldn't happen. Kids like that should be on their own private floor where they can be properly supervised.”
UPMC spokeswoman Gloria Kreps said the boy told staff on Monday, at which point they informed his mother. Mental health providers are restricted by privacy laws from disclosing patient details, she said.
“We take any allegation of harm very seriously, with safety at the forefront of care for our patients,” Kreps said.
Staff members who suspect physical, sexual or emotional harm remove the patient from the situation, and notify parents if a child is involved and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, she said.
“Involvement of police is on a case-by-case basis,” Kreps said. “We conduct an internal investigation, during which the patient is interviewed by a physician to validate the veracity of any allegation.”
Police on Friday charged a male patient, 14, with sexually assaulting a female patient, 8, while the two were alone in a playroom.
“Kids are supposed to be going there to get help and get better, not have something happen that would make their mental state worse,” the mother of the 7-year-old boy said.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Google grants teachers’ school supply wishes
- Parents keep children home from Brookline schools over threats
- State lawmakers delay hearings on Corbett’s review of academic standards
- Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
- Identical twins born at West Penn Hospital a rare medical marvel
- Air Conditioning Contractors, Peoples partner on furnace cleanings for low-income residents
- Mandated sewer project to increase Alcosan customers’ bills
- Nonprofits replace humdrum charity 5Ks with rappelling
- Allegheny police seek non-custodial dad, missing 4-year-old son
- Judge drops charges against Ambridge ROTC instructor’s wife
- Latest flu vaccines offer protection from 4 influenza strains instead of traditional 3