Laurens Sheriff Protests Treatment of Rape Victim

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office has protested that Greenville Healthcare System would not perform an examination on a victim of sexual assault at the Laurens County Hospital, following a sexual assault.

Deputies were dispatched Thursday on report of a Burglary and Sexual Assault. Officers say their investigation determined that a man had forcefully entered the victim’s residence, cut her with a sharp instrument, held her against her will and then brutally, sexually assaulted her.

A Sheriff’s Office statement said “The victim was, of course, very distraught and traumatized after experiencing such a violent crime. A Deputy called for an ambulance to transport the victim to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital for medical evaluation.”

The Sheriff’s release said that in sexual assault investigations, part of the evaluation and treatment process involves nurses and/or doctors collecting evidence and looking for signs of trauma to the victim. This evidence is collected in a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit which is then turned over to the Law Enforcement Agency conducting the investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office advised that in this particular case, the Laurens County Hospital did not have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) on duty to perform the examination/collection of evidence and recommended that the victim go to a hospital in Greer to have this done.

An Investigator with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office talked with hospital personnel and explained the Sheriff’s Office’s concerns with asking an extremely traumatized victim to travel to another county for this procedure. It said “The victim, which was very traumatized by this incident, declined and did not wish to go to Greer. In many instances, the best practice is to have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) perform this task, however if one is not available a nurse or doctor could still accomplish this if necessary.”

Sheriff Reynolds attempted to reach out to Kay Swisher and Justin Benfield of The Greenville Health System’s Laurens Campus for an explanation and to seek a solution to this problem. A statement issued Saturday afternoon said that as of that time, they had not been able to make contact with anyone.

The Sheriff’s statement said “It is absolutely unbelievable that the Laurens County Hospital would not perform the examination/collection of evidence, and would request that a victim of such a horrendous crime have to travel to another County to get this done. This jeopardizes the investigation and puts the victim at further risk of harm.”

The statement added, “Fortunately, in this particular situation there was enough evidence to move forward and arrest the individual responsible for assaulting the victim.”

39-year-old John David Hall of 147 John Deere Lane, Easley was arrested Friday and charged with 1st Degree Burglary, Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree, Kidnapping and with Breach of Peace, Aggravated in Nature. During arraignment, bond was denied on all four charges. John David Hall remained in the Laurens County Detention Center Saturday night.