Volusia assisted living facility ordered to close over sex assault claims

Grace Manor has 30 days to appeal decision

PORT ORANGE, Fla. – State health regulators have ordered a Port Orange assisted living facility to shut down within two weeks amid claims that patients were sexually assaulted.

File: Grace Manor Report

The Agency for Health Care Administration issued an emergency suspension order and an immediate moratorium on admissions at Grace Manor Assisted Living and Memory Care this week, instructing them to cease operations by July 26, officials said.

Grace Manor, which houses 52 patients, has 30 days to appeal the decision.

Documents show that there were at least three incidents when a male patient attempted to engage in unwanted sexual acts with female residents of Grace Manor.

AHCA investigators said Grace Manor did not document the incidents, nor did the facility inform the victims' family members.

Records show that the man is accused of touching one woman's breasts and lying naked in the bed of another patient, who was undressed from the waist down and yelling for help.

“I am a man and I have needs,” the man said, according to records.

The man was removed by his sister from Grace Manor on June 20, but he returned eight days later, the AHCA said.

Kathy Catsantonis said that her husband who has Alzheimer's has lived at Grace Manor for two years. She said that she's never had a problem.

"I have never seen a problem and the place is imaculent. The people are fabulous. It's, I'm shocked. Just shocked," said Catsantonis. "I was just here Monday and it's one of the best places in the county. I'm serious. So, I'm just going to wait. I think maybe they will try to do something or appeal it or something."

Catsantonis says she always shows up unexpected, and her husband has never complained about a problem.

"They never know when we are going to show up, his family. You know, I've never found my husband in a bad way. I've never found him messed, I've never found his bed messed. Nothing."

Pawan Gulati from Horizon Assisted Living in Ormond Beach said his facility is ready and willing to take in any other their residents.

"They just said yes come down. You could help us out in the meantime. You know see how things are going, so that's why we came down," said Gulati. "We've been in touch with their corporate office. We have a good relationship with them. We have with all assisted living facilities in the area and the hospitals and things like that."

According to a Port Orange Police Department incident report, the male resident suffers from dementia and is staying at a private home in Port Orange.

It's unclear if the facility will appeal the closure.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.