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Woman sues VA for alleged assault by unsupervised patient in Missouri

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 19, 2017

ST. LOUIS — A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by an unsupervised patient with mental issues at the John Cochran VA Medical Center is suing the federal government.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the suit says the woman, who was visiting her husband after his surgery, was treated "abusively or dismissively" by administrative personnel following the Dec. 21, 2014 assault. It accuses Veteran Affairs officials of failing to heed a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office that criticized the agency for failing to prevent sexual assaults.

The suit alleges the unsupervised patient fondled himself and tried to pull down the woman's pants. The suit also says the patient was known to be "problematic and potentially dangerous."

The suit seeks unspecified damages for negligence.

A VA spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's request for comment.

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