BRANDON – A 42 year-old Jehovah’s Witness elder has been charged after a senior citizen complained she was assaulted by a man pretending to be a doctor at a Brandon hospital.
A 75-year-old woman entered Brandon Regional Hospital just over a year ago. After years of caring for her invalid husband, the woman was depressed and required a psychiatric assessment.
On the following Saturday, night a well-dressed stranger walked into her room. The woman’s daughter says the man introduced himself as a doctor.
“He told her to lie back and he checked her stomach. He pressed on her stomach and then he opened up her nightgown and she said, ‘I didn’t know, you know, what was really happening,'” she says.
The elderly woman told Brandon police the stranger kissed her breasts. When he started to pull down his pants, she screamed at him to get out of her room.
Gordon Edward Watson has been charged with sexual assault and personation. The 42-year-old Jehovah’s Witness elder is believed to have been at the hospital on church business.
Daughter told not to tell anyone about incident
Whatever the reason for his visit, the victim’s daughter says they never thought something like this could happen to their mother at a secure facility. She says she was appalled when officials told her not to tell anyone else.
“That’s the first thing victims of sexual assault say, is ‘please don’t tell anyone’, for fear, for shame. ‘Don’t tell anyone,'” she says. “They just told me not to tell my sister. It was a week later that we finally told my dad. My mother was scared to tell him.”
The woman says her mother also wasn’t offered any counselling.
Health Authority CEO Carmel Olson can’t talk specifically about this case, but she says staff would only notify family about an assault if that’s what the victim wanted. As for follow-up care such as counselling, Olson says there is no set procedure, but the health authority would offer all of its resources to a patient who asked for support.
Olson says the region is always reviewing security procedures.
“We don’t have a lot of incidents, so I would say it’s fairly good,” she says. “We’re probably not perfect.”
Gordon Watson’s trial starts at the beginning of November.
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