Sexual assault victim not examined at Laurens County Memorial Hospital
A woman who deputies say was the victim of a brutal sexual assault was denied an examination, which would have included the collection of evidence, at the Laurens County Memorial Hospital. Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds said deputies with the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched on a call for service in reference to a burglary and sexual assault. The sheriff said the investigation revealed that John David Hall forcefully entered the residence, cut the victim with a sharp instrument, held the victim against her will, and then brutally sexually assaulted her. The victim was extremely distraught and traumatized after experiencing such a violent crime. A deputy on scene called for an ambulance to transport the victim to the Laurens County Memorial Hospital for medical evaluation. Sexual assault investigations include evaluations and processes that involve 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. In many instances, the best practice is to have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) perform this task; however, when a S.A.N.E is not available, a nurse or doctor can perform the procedure. The Laurens County Memorial Hospital did not have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner on duty to perform the examination and collect the evidence, so the hospital refused to perform this procedure. The hospital 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 concerns with asking an extremely traumatized victim to travel to another county for this procedure. Due to the overwhelming trauma, the victim declined to go to Greer. Sheriff Reynolds attempted to reach out to hospital administrators Kay Swisher and Justin Benfield of The Greenville Health System for an explanation and to seek a solution to this problem but has not yet been able to contact anyone. “It is unacceptable for Laurens County Hospital to not perform this examination and collection of evidence. Furthermore, it is unbelievable that a victim of such a horrendous crime would have to travel to another county for the collection of evidence,” Reynolds said. “This jeopardizes the investigation and puts the victim and others at further risk of harm. Fortunately, in this situation, there was enough evidence to move forward and arrest the individual responsible for assaulting the victim.” John David Hall was charged with Burglary First Degree, Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree, Kidnapping and Breach of Peace of a High and Aggravated Nature.