|This just reinforces what we all know is the REAL
purpose for those 'battered women' shelters. I wish the writer had the
presence of mind to ask whether this shelter cares for MALE victims. That
would have opened the other eye.
Police: Shelter refused to accept tortured teen
The Associated Press
October 3, 2003, 4:02 PM CDT
CROWN POINT, Ind. -- A shelter for abused women refused to house an
18-year-old woman who was allegedly tortured by her parents, blaming the
teen's unspecified mental disability, police said.
St. Jude House declined to house the teen after she was rescued last
week, said Michael Higgins, a Lake County police spokesman.
"She was placed for a short period of time at St. Jude's and taken out
again by our officer because they refused to keep her," Higgins said.
"They said they could not facilitate someone with a handicap."
Steve Butera, client services director for St. Jude House, denied the
allegation. "We don't really refuse anyone service," he said.
He declined to discuss the case, citing privacy concerns.
"I would suggest that people not assume that someone hasn't been
served," he said. "It's possible this person was served. They may have
been served here at St. Jude House, and we identified some better,
additional or different services for them."
Police allege that Keith Erik Jax, 36, and Marie Christine Jax, 46, of
Gary tortured the woman's 18-year-old daughter by shocking her with
electrical cables, beating her and burning her with cigarettes. Each could
face more than 100 years in prison if convicted on felony charges of
criminal deviate conduct, battery and neglect.
Teresa Torres, executive director of Everybody Counts Center for
Independent Living, an advocacy group for the disabled, said St. Jude
cannot legally deny services to the teenager.
"That's not only inhuman, it's illegal because of the federal
disabilities act," she said.
St. Jude's membership in the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic
Violence is contingent on the agency following the Americans with
Disabilities Act, Torres said.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Associated Press
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