Personal Injury

Schizophrenic man to stand trial in nursing home sexual abuse case

The man accused of sexually abusing a woman with mental disabilities has been ruled competent to stand trial, according to the Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal. Preston Shaw, 65, and the victim were both residents of Hillcrest Centre for Health and Rehabilitation in Jeffersonville. Shaw, who suffers from schizophrenia and major depression, had previously expressed to nursing home workers his desire to be close to the victim. The victim has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or talk.

According to police reports, a Hillcrest employee found Shaw sitting on the woman’s bed last month with blood on his face and hands. She was menstruating at the time of the alleged attack. Shaw had his shirt off and sweat pants down to his knees but his boxer shorts were on.

A warrant was issued for Shaw’s arrest, and two psychiatrists who interviewed Shaw testified he understood the charge and thus, Shaw was found competent to stand trial. However, the public defender representing Shaw said the ruling was surprising. “I am still trying to grasp, as a layman, how a psychotic is competent to stand trial,” he told the newspaper. If found guilty of the Class D felony, he faces six months to three years in jail.

Shaw was moved from Hillcrest Centre to Clark Memorial Hospital’s behavior health unit before being transferred to the Clark County Jail. Hillcrest Centre released a statement saying it provided a detailed report to the Indiana State Department of Public Health and that it would take measures to ensure all residents of the facility remain free of any abuse.

Family members of the victim are calling for the home to close down, and they are pursuing a lawsuit against the nursing home on their daughter’s behalf.