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Woman sues VA for alleged assault by unsupervised patient

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by an unsupervised patient with mental issues at the St. Louis VA is suing the federal government.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2pgcitj ) reports that the suit says the woman, who was visiting her husband after his surgery at the John Cochran VA Medical Center, was treated “abusively or dismissively” by administrative personnel after the December 2014 assault. It accuses Veteran Affairs officials of failing to heed a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office that criticized the agency for failing to prevent sexual assaults.

The suit alleges the unsupervised patient fondled himself and tried to pull down the woman’s pants. The suit also says the patient was known to be “problematic and potentially dangerous.”

The suit seeks unspecified damages for negligence.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday by The Associated Press with a spokeswoman for the St. Louis VA.