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CBS4 Miami

I-Team: Who's Watching The Elderly?

Aug 15, 2009

Reporting
Michele Gillen

MIAMI (CBS4) ― He wore a smile before court began.  Darryl McGee is the man who, at 33-years-old, was living in the Alzheimer's unit of the Munne Assisted Living facility, and who according to police, brutally raped another resident.

The shock that lingers is because the alleged victim was a 71-year old women suffering from Alzheimer's, found bleeding and naked from the waist down, repeating over and over, "it hurts."

"Heartbroken," is how Sean Ellsworth, attorney for the facility, describes the reaction of Munne staff to the sexual assault.

Who is Darryl McGee? The I-Team uncovered he had more than a dozen prior arrests in his home state of Tennessee, including for assault, before being admitted to live with  most vulnerable residents.

In Miami-Dade court Friday his attorney, Public Defender Robert White, succeeded in his efforts to convince the court McGee is incompetent to stand trial. But outside the courtroom there was stunned silence in reaction to his explaining  the case to Chief I-Team Investigator Michele Gillen. He claims McGee is not guilty, despite what many consider corroborating evidence that the woman was raped.

"There is very little doubt as to whether there was sexual contact between the two of them. The issue is consent," said White.

Gillen asked, "So it is your position that the 71-year-old Alzheimer's victim consented?"

"That is correct," continued White, "whether it's a legally valid consent or not, that is another question."

Wes Bledsoe is founder of the Oklahoma based organization, A Perfect Cause, which is committed to protecting the elderly in long-term care. Bledsoe was first to document and expose what he calls a hidden national crisis of violent and sexual offenders living with the most vulnerable. He flew to Miami to observe the case, but left stunned at the consensual sex argument. He talked exclusively with CBS4 News.

Asked his reaction? "Shock but at the same time it happens all too often," said Bledsoe. "The term 'consensual sex' is used again and again. So these perpetrators are relieved of their responsibilities after they commit such a heinous crime on those who can no longer protect themselves."

McGee's mother has told Gillen he suffers from mental illness and retardation and never should have lived in an Alzheimer's unit with the elderly. He was placed in the custody of DCF Friday, charged now with finding him a bed in a state psychiatric hospital. There, experts will try to restore him to competency. His stay could be months or years. Depending on when he is released, a judge could then decide whether charges should be dismissed.

Michele Gillen can be reached at MGillen@wfor.cbs.com