Sex assault reported at nursing home

Sunrise Senior Living at 2701 El Camino Real in Palo Alto. Google photo.

BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer

A sexual assault between two nursing home residents — which prosecutors say can be one of the more difficult kinds of sex crimes to charge — has been reported at Sunrise Senior Living.

Sunrise is an international nursing home chain with a location at 2701 El Camino Real, near Page Mill Road-Oregon Expressway.

The home offers seniors private apartments with 24-hour assistance with daily activities, memory care for Alzheimer’s patients and short-term stays for those recovering from a procedure or whose normal caregiver is temporarily unavailable.

The attack allegedly took place Jan. 2 and was reported to police on Jan. 31. A male resident was reported to have assaulted a female resident. It was not described as a rape, police Sgt. Craig Lee said.

Police will submit the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in the next couple of days, Deputy District Attorney Clarissa Hamilton said.

Prosecutors will then review the case and decide whether to file charges. No one has been arrested in the case.
Sunrise spokeswoman Jennifer Clark declined to release any information about the report, including whether any residents had been removed from the facility.

“We take all allegations seriously, and upon learning of any incident, immediately notify proper authorities and conduct an internal investigation,” Clark said. “Due to privacy, we cannot share details about our families. Our first priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of our residents.”

Such reports aren’t unusual

Hamilton said it’s not particularly rare for sex crimes to be reported at nursing homes, though some of the reports do end up being unfounded.

“You have a lot of elderly people who are suffering from various mental illnesses where they have hallucinations, or they will allege that other people — women, men, you name it — are doing stuff to them,” Hamilton said. “It’s very hard to judge truth from fiction because of the mental health component.”

But police forward the cases to prosecutors regardless as a “double safety check to make sure,” Hamilton said.

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