Police investigating nursing home sex abuse after resident with profound disabilities found pregnant

Michelle Gallardo Image
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Sex abuse investigation opened after Geneva nursing home patient found 33 weeks pregnant
The Kane County sheriff is investigating a case of sexual abuse at Marklund Hyde Center against a resident who cannot speak or walk after she was found to be 33 weeks pregnant.

GENEVA, Ill. (WLS) -- One week ago, Marklund Hyde Center nursing home first disclosed they were investigating a case of sexual abuse against one of their residents, but details were only revealed Wednesday. The Kane County sheriff said this is a fast-moving investigation they hope will be resolved soon.

Up to 96 adult residents live at the campus in Geneva at any given time, all of whom have what are described as profound developmental disabilities.

A week ago, care facility management discovered the sexual abuse after sending one of their residents to Delnor Hospital for a checkup only to find out she was 33 weeks pregnant.

"We've served thousands of individuals. We've never had a case like this. It's an act of evil. A criminal act," said Gil Fonger, president and CEO at Marklund.

The woman, a longtime resident of the facility, delivered her baby the next day. Marklund officials said she is non-verbal and cannot walk on her own. They said part of her condition is the reason her pregnancy was not detected earlier.

"Part of her disability she has an extended-- she has a distended abdomen. That's something we track on a weekly basis. And in the last week it had gone above baseline," Fonger said.

Fonger said access to the homes residents live in is highly restricted, meaning only a member of staff would have access to them. But while there are cameras in all public areas of the homes, there are none in the bedrooms.

Following their own preliminary investigation, Marklund has placed three male employees on paid leave.

"Those who were suspended and some former staff members have already had DNA taken from them, so at this stage we're just cooperating with the Sheriff's department," said Fonger.

But even as the criminal investigation continues, the belief is that, for now, this might be an isolated case.

"Physical exams have been done on the females in that home. So far. It doesn't look like it's extended beyond," Fonger said.

The victim's family has returned her to the facility, where she is currently being cared for. Her baby remains in the hospital. The Kane County sheriff said for now they are unable to comment, but hope to have this resolved as soon as possible.