Deputies: Caregiver beat 2 in head with belt, pepper-sprayed 3rd - WNEM TV 5

Deputies: Caregiver beat 2 in head with belt, pepper-sprayed 3rd victim

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Clarence Dillard (L) and Patsy Robinson. (Source: Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office) Clarence Dillard (L) and Patsy Robinson. (Source: Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office)

Three vulnerable adults were physically abused, one even sprayed with pepper spray, by a caregiver, according to Greenville County deputies.

Deputies said they received complaints about two abuse victims in the care of the South Carolina Mentor Network in May.

As they investigated the claims, deputies said they discovered a third victim. Deputy Drew Pinciaro said the victims were cared for at the Bonnie Woods facility on Bonnie Woods Drive.

In connection with the investigation, deputies said two employees were arrested. Pinciaro said Patsy Robinson, 50, was charged with three counts of abuse of a vulnerable adult and Clarence Dillard, 47, was charged with two counts of failing to report abuse of a vulnerable adult.

According to arrest warrants, Robinson beat two adults in the head with a belt on multiple occasions and when a witness reported it to Dillard, Robinson's supervisor, he did not report it to authorities though he is required to by law under SC Code section 43-35-25.

The SC Mentor Network State Director Stan Butkus released the following statement on Wednesday:

"As an organization dedicated to providing quality of life enhancing services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, South Carolina MENTOR takes our obligation to ensuring the safety and well-being of those we serve very seriously. We are deeply disturbed by the allegations regarding two former employees and are fully cooperating with law enforcement. South Carolina MENTOR has a zero tolerance policy regarding abuse and neglect of those we support.

"In compliance with DDSN standards and our internal policies and procedures, all prospective employees are required to submit to multiple background checks prior to hire, including a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) report, a Central Registry check, an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) check and a sex offender registry check. Prospective employees must also provide a driving history for the ten years prior to hire. Background checks and driving history reviews are then repeated annually after hire.

"South Carolina MENTOR requires, expects and promotes ethical practices at all levels of the organization in accordance with our Quality of Care Standards, Code of Conduct and the laws and regulations governing the state of South Carolina. We regularly and clearly communicate to our employees regarding their obligation to report any allegations of abuse and neglect to SLED. In addition, if an employee feels for any reason that they cannot report any concerns internally, they are urged to call our confidential Compliance Hotline that is available 24 hours a day/365 days a year."

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