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Police: Shelter refused to accept tortured teen

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.

—Dave

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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Posted 2003 10 05
Updates:
2013 03 08 (removed reference to dvstats.org -- website no longer functions)