Sheriff wants answers after he said hospital was unable to perfo - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff wants answers after he said hospital was unable to perform test on sexual assault victim

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John David Hall. (Source: LCSO) John David Hall. (Source: LCSO)
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Laurens County sheriff wants answers after he said a hospital was unable to perform a test on a sexual assault victim.

According to a news release published by the sheriff’s office on Saturday, deputies were called to investigate a burglary and sexual assault on Friday. During the investigation, deputies said they learned that John David Hall forced his way into the victim’s home, cut her with a sharp instrument, and held her against her will while he “brutally” sexually assaulted her.

Deputies said the victim was extremely traumatized and was taken to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital, where deputies hoped evidence could be collected for a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit.

This evidence is typically carried out by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), but the sheriff’s office said the Laurens County hospital did not have a SANE working at the time.

“In this case, the Laurens County Hospital did not have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner on duty to perform the examination and collect the evidence, so the hospital refused to perform this procedure,” the news release stated. “Rather, the Laurens County Hospital recommended that the victim go to a hospital in Greer, SC to have this done.”

The victim, who deputies said was under extreme duress at the time, declined to go to Greer for the procedure.

“It is unacceptable for Laurens County Hospital to not perform this examination and collection of evidence,” deputies stated in the news release. “Furthermore, it is unbelievable that a victim of such a horrendous crime would have to travel to another county for the collection of evidence. This jeopardizes the investigation and puts the victim and others at further risk of harm. Fortunately, in this situation, there was enough evidence to move forward and arrest the individual responsible for assaulting the victim.”

Sheriff Don Reynolds reportedly reached out to the Greenville Health System about the case, but deputies said no resolution had been reached at the time the news release was issued on Saturday.

Both the sheriff’s office and the Greenville Health System said a doctor can collect the evidence if a SANE nurse is not available. GHS said a patient must give consent before the exam can be performed.

Below is the statement a GHS spokesman released concerning the incident:

“Every patient who visits an emergency department at any one of our hospitals receives a medical screening exam to determine if they have an emergent medical condition. If such a condition exists, the patient is stabilized within the capabilities of that hospital. If the hospital doesn’t have the capabilities to treat the patient, the patient is provided an appropriate transfer to another facility.

In the case of a sexual assault, it is general practice at all of our facilities to have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) provide a sexual assault exam because these nurses have special training in medical forensics and often provide expert testimony if a case goes to trial. If a SANE-certified nurse is not present, we offer patients the opportunity to be immediately transported to a facility where a SANE-certified nurse is available. If a patient doesn’t want to be transported, a doctor can perform the exam. However, in all cases, a patient must give consent for the exam to occur. If a patient does not consent or says they want to leave, we must respect their wishes.

While we cannot discuss the specifics of this particular case due to patient privacy, I can assure you that we followed the law and that all appropriate medical protocols and policies were followed. Patients are the focus of everything we do, and we strive to provide the best care possible to all of our patients.”

– Catherine Chang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Greenville Health System

Sheriff Reynolds said the victim spoke with two doctors who said she would need to be transferred for the procedure, but she declined.

The suspect, Hall was arrested on charges of burglary first degree, criminal sexual conduct first degree, kidnapping, and breach of peace high and aggravated nature.

More news: Police: Suspect in killing at downtown Greenville garage found dead with her children in Pickens Co.

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