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Chelsea Gilbert
Chelsea Gilbert
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State Pays $2.5 Million for Rape of Mentally-Ill Woman

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A $2.5 million dollar settlement was reached on Tuesday to settle the claims of a mentally-ill woman who was raped while she was a patient at Eastern State Hospital in 2004.

$1.5 million of that settlement will go towards the victim’s future care, an amount declared “reasonable” by Jerry Cartwright, the assistant attorney general who represented the state, considering the amount of care the woman requires.

The remaining $1 million will be split between her two attorneys.

The mentally-ill woman was raped by former employee of Eastern State Hospital, Guy M. Johnston, while she was a patient there. Johnston has since been convicted of the rape and is serving time in prison.

The conviction made challenging the victim’s claims in court a potentially costly choice, said Jerry Cartwright.

“The risk of a large jury verdict against the state and the department is pretty apparent. The settlement and the amount, after all was said and done, seems to be a reasonable amount given what (the victim’s) future care is going to be,” he said.

Jim Stevenson, a spokesperson from the Department of Social and Health Services, the agency that runs the Eastern State Hospital, said “It was a regrettable incident…We don’t want it to happen again, and we certainly hope we’ll be able to prevent it from happening again.”

However, when asked, Stevenson declined to say whether any of the hospital’s policies had been changed or any new policies implemented as a result of the incident in question.

Read more: Adam Wilson, The Olympian