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Stop the Cover-Up of Sexual Abuse at

Publically Funded Institutions who Serve People with Disabilities

julie michael we-0374.jpg

Natalie as a maid of honor at Julie's wedding in 2012, post-treatment for her diagnosis


Natalie in the emergency room before her

horrific diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection


Natalie and her nieces.

On April 2, 2012, my younger adult sister with intellectual and development disabilities (I/DD) was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection. She only lives with women in the home and attended a daytime outside caregiving program in the East Bay at the time. We pulled her out of the program, opened a criminal investigation-which is still open, and filed a civil suit against the program.


The director at the time, told us we should have gone to them and not the authorities first. 

The program quickly settled with us.  A sum of money was exchanged for a signature on a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) "Hush Money."

The program and the sexual abuse settlement were funded with tax-payer dollars.

Californians need to better understand the scale of this problem and stop the cover-up of these tragic crimes against our most vulnerable. 


  • People with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate seven times higher than those without disabilities. That number comes from data run for NPR by the Justice Department from unpublished federal crime data.

  • People with intellectual disabilities are at heightened risk at all moments of their daily lives. The NPR data show they are more likely to be assaulted by someone they know and during daytime hours.

  • Predators target people with intellectual disabilities because they know they are easily manipulated and will have difficulty testifying later. These crimes go mostly unrecognized, unprosecuted and unpunished. And the abuser is free to abuse again.

  • Police and prosecutors are often reluctant to take these cases because they are difficult to win in court.

Joe Shapiro, NPR, “Abused and Betrayed", January 8, 2018, accessed March 21, 2021.


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About the Sexual Assault of People with I/DD

Below is a list of key articles on the subject at hand. 


"Abused and Betrayed"
January 8, 2018

In January of 2018, Joe Shapiro, and investigative correspondant with NPR released a week-long series on the sexual abuse of people with I/DD.


"Is California Failing Its Most Vulnerable Adults?" December 11, 2018

 In December 2018, Justine Calamr, release a repart that ..."Thousands of allegations of abuse and neglect have been made against the programs that care for people with developmental disabilities."

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