RI State Police investigating alleged sexual assault at state hospital

The Zambarano Memorial Unit of Eleanor Slater Hospital is located in Burrillville, R.I. (WPRI 12)

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island State Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault at the Zambarano Unit of Eleanor Slater Hospital, the Target 12 Investigators have confirmed.

State police would not elaborate on the investigation.

Jenna Mackevich, a spokesperson for the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH), would not say when or where the alleged incident happened.

“BHDDH cannot comment on this issue due to privacy laws,” Mackevich said.

Mackevich also would not say whether or not the alleged incident involved a patient or staff member, or whether anyone has been disciplined by BHDDH.

The Zambarano facitily is currently treating 95 patients with a number of long-term issues including spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.

The tip that an alleged sexual assault happened there was sent to Target 12 this week.

Last year, Zambarano CNA Lynda Prioletti was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts of patient abuse for allegedly physically and verbally abusing two patients. Her case has yet to go to trial.

Over the past two months, there have been two arrests for alleged assaults in two other long-term care facilities.

Last month, Jacob King, 57, a nurse at Savoy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Bedford, was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two residents at the facility.

In October, Francis Kinsey, 74, who is a Coventry Center Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facility resident, was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an 80-year-old female resident.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau