In summer 2010, Kabrina Whitehead arrived at Westchester Hospital with stomach swelling. Doctors quickly discovered the 27-year-old wasn't sick, however. Instead, she was four months pregnant. But that was more than just a medical surprise. Because Whitehead is severely mentally disabled, the pregnancy was proof of a sexual assault. She was forced to have an abortion. Worst of all, the tragedy was entirely preventable.
For years, Whitehead had lived in a group home run by Consumer Supports Associates Villas, Inc. The for-profit company takes care of a couple dozen people with disabilities in several small, quaint houses in Liberty City.
Whitehead's hospitalization immediately cast suspicion on the care facility. Cops compared DNA evidence from the terminated pregnancy to that of employees at Consumer Supports. They quickly arrested Paret Baker, a then-50-year-old behavioral technician, and charged him with sexual battery on a person with mental disabilities.
Baker quickly copped to the crime. Last month, he was sentenced to ten years in prison.
But a quick glance at Baker's long criminal record indicates that Consumer Supports never should have hired him.
State law bars almost anyone with a felony conviction from providing care at an assisted-living facility. Yet Baker had felony convictions for burglary and grand theft dating back to 1983. He had also been convicted of misdemeanor battery twice.
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Two weeks after Baker was locked up, the Guardianship Program of Dade County sued Consumer Supports on Whitehead's behalf. The facility failed Whitehead "by negligently and carelessly hiring, retaining, and failing to supervise its employee, one Paret Baker, resulting in said employee having sexual intercourse with the incompetent female resident," the lawsuit claims.
Willie Mary Givens, Consumer Supports' director and president, declined to discuss the case with New Times.
Consumer Supports isn't Givens's only project, however. State records also show she is on the board of several other companies, including Vision of Victory International Ministries and the nonprofits Mary's House and Open Hands to the Children.
Despite the promise of a legal windfall, life hasn't improved much for Kabrina Whitehead. According to a Consumer Supports employee, Whitehead still lives in the same care home in which she was sexually assaulted more than two years ago.