GOWANDA, NY (WKBW) — The New York State Department of Health confirmed for 7 Eyewitness News it’s investigating an alleged rape at the Gowanda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
We received an anonymous tip to our WKBW Newsroom about the alleged rape that occurred last week, May 28th at the center.
State Health Department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond issued a written statement in our response to our inquiry:
“The safety and wellbeing of nursing home residents is of paramount importance to the Department of Health. Upon learning of this incident, we immediately opened an investigation. These particular allegations are obviously extremely disturbing; however, as this is an ongoing investigation we cannot comment further."
Hammond also noted that under current laws and regulations, "hospitals and other healthcare facilities are required to report all incidents of sexual abuse and assault to the Department of Health and law enforcement.”
The Gowanda Rehabilitation and Nursing Center provides long-term and short-term care and is a 160-bed facility, but is “not part of a continuing care retirement community.”
According to U.S. News & World Report, the center has received an “overall rating of poor.” The report also states it has ‘for-profit, corporate ownership.”