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Man charged in rape of Laurelwood patient

Suspect was also a patient at the mental health facility

POSTED: January 30, 2009 2:19 p.m.
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Kevin Jay Norman

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A man accused of sexually assaulting two women while being treated at a Gainesville mental health and substance abuse center has been charged with rape.

Kevin Jay Norman, 41, was arrested late Thursday night at his Athens home on one count of rape, Gainesville police said Friday.

Norman was alleged to have sexually assaulted two fellow patients inside Laurelwood hospital on Wisteria Drive on Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, Lt. Brian Kelly said. So far police have only been able to substantiate one rape, in which a 19-year-old woman was assaulted on Jan 10, Kelly said.

The 19-year-old victim and a 31-year-old woman came forward on Jan. 11 to report being raped by the same suspect, Kelly said. Norman was immediately moved out of the facility pending the outcome of the investigation. He was arrested Thursday night by Athens-Clarke County Police at his home.

Norman is awaiting transfer from the Clarke County Jail to the Hall County Jail.

Melissa Tymchuk, a spokesperson for Northeast Georgia Health System, which operates Laurelwood, said while she couldn’t comment on the specifics of the case, “we definitely take this investigation seriously and are fully cooperating with the authorities in their investigation.”

Kelly said he could not comment on the specifics of the investigation, including under what circumstances the alleged rape occurred.

The case marks the second time since November 2006 that rape charges have been brought against a patient at Laurelwood. A 16-year-old boy was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl inside a bathroom at the facility.

He later saw the charge reduced to statutory rape. A lawsuit filed against the hospital by the victim’s family is pending.



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