Patient faces charges for attempted assault at Austin State Hospital

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A patient at Austin State Hospital could face up to ten years in prison for trying to sexually assault another patient who is a mentally disabled man.

Back in December, an employee at the Austin State Hospital (ASH) at 4110 Guadalupe St. in Austin was walking past a bathroom. The employee told police he heard someone inside yelling, “Stop it!”

Police say surveillance video shows the accused, Marc Lawson, following the man into a restroom. Officials say the victim is severely mentally disabled, and is not capable of consenting.

Over the last five years, there have been 393 cases of sexual abuse reported at the state hospital. Only five of those reports were ever substantiated. Overall, there have been a total of 2,717 cases of abuse/neglect reported at ASH, with only 160 (six percent) of those cases substantiated.

Statewide, of the 1,826 cases of sexual abuse reported at all 10 state hospitals, only 23 (one percent) were substantiated. For all cases of abuse/neglect reported statewide at the hospitals over the past five years — numbering 19,147 cases — only 1,197 (6 percent) were substantiated by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

For a complete number of DFPS investigations at state hospitals in Texas, click here.

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