A family has filed a lawsuit against Foss Home and Village nursing home in North Seattle after prosecutors say one of the facility's nursing assistants was captured on a hidden camera raping a disabled woman more than once.
Nshimiyiana Hamzat, 29, has been charged with second-degree rape and remains jailed.
The lawsuit claims gross negligence and cites many failures, including “failing to have a system in place to ensure Plaintiff was monitored and properly supervised.”
Charging papers say the victim’s brother, unbeknownst to her, set up the hidden camera that was disguised as a phone charger after she told her family about the abuse earlier this year.
"I asked him, "What are you doing to me? He said back to me, ‘I'm trying to help you, I'm trying to clean you,’" said the victim in a July interview with KIRO 7. "It was really terrible."
In an interview Monday, the woman’s brother told KIRO 7 she’s still struggling emotionally and physically. She has since been removed from the North Seattle nursing home.
“She asks the same questions, ‘Why this happen to me?’” said her brother. “I know that she will never forget that trauma what happen to her to the end of her life.”
The Department of Social and Health Services launched an investigation into the nursing home last summer because of the alleged rape.
A spokesperson told KIRO 7 Monday that the state had fined Foss Home and Village $3,000 in August because the facility, “failed to ensure a resident remained free of sexual abuse perpetrated by a staff member during provision of personal care.” In a letter to the nursing home, DSHS also listed several “issues” the facility was required to address.
Foss Home and Village declined KIRO 7’s request for an interview or comment citing pending litigation.
DSHS said it has revoked the license of a separate adult home run by Hamzat in Bothell. Residents there were relocated several months ago.
Seattle police previously told KIRO 7 that detectives were also investigating another reported sexual assault at Foss Home and Village home involving a 93-year-old woman.
DSHS says reports of adult abuse throughout the state, including vulnerable adults who are not in facilities, have tripled in a six-year span. Sexual abuse accounts for 3% of reports and financial exploitation is the most common, DSHS said.
Signs of abuse include:
• Suspicious or unexplained bruises, sores or weight loss.
• A sudden change in personality.
• Neglect of hygiene, clothing, home, medicine or food.
• Personal belongings are missing.
• Verbal aggression.
• No longer attending social functions or regular activities.
• Losing contact with family and friends, being isolated from loved ones.
Beyond reporting incidents to police, people can report concerns to DSHS: 1-800-562-6078.
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