Alleged rape prompts nursing home to suspend black male workers - FOX 32 News Chicago

Alleged rape prompts nursing home to suspend black male workers

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By Taryn Asher
FOX 2 News Reporter

UPDATE: FOX 2 News has learned that all of the suspended employees are now back to work.

SOUTHGATE, Mich. -- On October 8, a woman living at Southgate Manor claims she was raped by a black man.  Southgate Police confirmed the report and say they are investigating.  Meanwhile, we've learned black male workers at the nursing home have been suspended.

"We don't have a statement at this time," said the manager at Southgate Manor.

He referred us to owner Reginald Hartsfield, president of Advantage Management Group.  He claimed safety is their number one priority and without an identification of the suspect, they had to suspend every black man in every department that would have contact with the alleged victim.

"I get a description of the alleged assailant, we suspend the people that fit that description, and in this particular case the description was vague and basically they said it was a black male," said Hartsfield by phone.  "Temporary suspension with pay while we conduct our investigation."

"That's shocking to me," said Deadra Clemens.

"Very disrespectful against black people," Gary Clemens said.

Their father is a resident of Southgate Manor.  Deadra even worked there at one time.

"They don't have (any) proof," Deadra Clemens remarked.  "You can't go off what one of the residents say.  Who knows if she (has) Alzheimer's, dementia or if she was in her right mind."

"Do an investigation and then I say find out who really did it," said Gary Clemens.  "Don't just suspend every black man."

Hartsfield assured us they would have taken the same approach if it was a white man or even a woman.  He said once an employee is ruled out as a suspect, they will be brought back to the job.

"I'm a black male myself, so I know how it sounds, but also as a nursing home administrator, I know what our regulations are and what we have to do," he said.

One man has already been brought back.

Hartsfield, who owns a total of eight nursing homes, says he is fair employer who has a very diverse workforce.  He's just trying to do what's right.

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