VA investigating sexual assault allegations at West VA medical center

Elizabeth Howe
September 12, 2019 - 11:45 am
Beckley VA Medical Center


Allegations of sexual assault at the Beckley Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Virginia are now under federal investigation. 

VA Inspector General Michael Missal announced in a statement that the Office of the Inspector General has been working with federal law enforcement partners to "expeditiously" investigate allegations of sexual assault out of the facility. 

"The facility is aware of these allegations and has taken steps to ensure the immediate safety of its patients," the statement reads. 

According to the Associated Press, hospital spokesperson Sara Yoke says that an individual was fired in response to the allegations. 

The statement also says that, "as is always the case," the VA OIG is taking the allegations seriously. They declined to provide any further comment on the investigation. 

Portions of the statement read almost verbatim to the one released two weeks ago regarding the allegations of murder surfacing at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia. 

At least five families have come forward claiming the death of a loved one at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center was a homicide, according to the attorney representing the families. All the victims resided on the same floor of the medical center — floor 3A. 

Deaths at West Virginia VA hospital all happened on Floor 3A, attorney says

The VA OIG — as is the case with the Beckley VAMC — has "been working with our federal law enforcement partners" to investigate the allegations of "potential wrongdoing." The OIG again declined to provide any further comments and, "as is always the case," said the VA OIG works to "urgently address allegations related to patient safety."

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has called for the details of this particular investigation to be released — and soon. 

"I'm asking that he finally end his investigation so we can get the answers that these families deserve," Wilkie said of inspector general Missal. "It looks to me like they've been the victims of a crime, but we haven't received those conclusions from the criminal authorities."

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