In August 2006, caregivers at the Sonoma Developmental Center in California found dark blue bruises shaped like handprints covering the breasts of a patient named Jennifer. She accused a staff member of molestation, court records show. Jennifer’s injuries appeared to be evidence of sexual abuse, indicating that someone had violently grabbed her.
The Office of Protective Services opened an investigation. But detectives took no action because the case relied heavily on the word of a woman with severe intellectual disabilities. A few months later, court records show, officials at the center had indisputable evidence that a crime had occurred. She was pregnant.
Watch our graphic novel video about Jennifer (not her real name) - and read our entire new investigation about how police mishandled reported sex assaults of disabled.