Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Allegations of Child Rape Rile Clinic Staff

Prosecutors are investigating allegations that an 8-year old boy was raped by two 13-year old fellow patients at Lodz’s Babinski psychiatric hospital. The story, splashed over the front cover of the Super Express tabloid on Aug. 4, has prompted anger from the hospital’s management, who say journalists have twisted the facts of the incident. But the parents of 8-year-old Patryk say they were informed by doctors that he had been attacked sexually and beaten by other patients in the ward and prosecutors are looking into both charges against the attackers and hospital staff.

“The doctor told us that someone had sex with Patryk,” his mother said. “She advised us to say nothing about the incident, because then people will single him out (as the boy who was raped). At the end she ordered an HIV test for him.” The hospital’s director, however, says they only have evidence that Patryk was “touched” by other boys both with and without his clothes on. They say media reports that he was raped in the ward’s showers are not borne out by the facts.

“Doctors talk to the younger patients on a daily basis and he [Patryk] at no point told us in words that something like that had happened,” director Zbigniew _ucki told Dziennik L?dzki.

“At the point in time when the rape was supposed to have taken place, there were 16 patients on the ward and none of them were bathing without the help of a member of hospital staff. The doctor and psychiatrist in charge were told by other patients that the 13-year-old may have touched the intimate parts of the 8-year-old boy.” The charges against the older boys have been passed to a family court, and prosecutors say they are looking into whether hospital staff showed serious neglect of duty in the incident. They say the investigation has been held up briefly by doctors declining to reveal details of conversations with patients.

Prosecutors will order the opening of medical records, clearing the way for the investigation to move on.