Mabley Center in Dixon placed on ‘immediate jeopardy’ status in wake of possible sex assault

The Jack Mabley Developmental Center, a residential facility for the mentally and physically disabled, was issued an “immediate jeopardy tag” Thursday in the wake of an apparent sexual assault of one resident by another on May 14, an Illinois Department of Human Services spokeswoman confirmed.

DIXON – The Jack Mabley Developmental Center, a residential facility for mentally and physically disabled people, has been issued an “immediate jeopardy tag” in the wake of an apparent sexual assault of one resident by another last month, an Illinois Department of Human Services spokeswoman said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health, which oversees nursing homes and residential facilities for the disabled, issued the tag June 8.

IDHS and Mabley have until Thursday to submit an “abatement plan” to the IDPH, Marissa Kollias, the DHS communications director, said in an email Monday evening.

Abatement means the correction of the deficiency or deficiencies that allowed the violation to occur.

The specifics of what the center did or didn’t do that led to the violation, and how it planned to abate the deficiency, if indeed one occurred, were sought, but not included in the email.

Neither was the specific penalty the center faces if it fails to remedy the deficiency, although hefty daily fines, the loss of federal Medicare and Medicaid payments and closure all are possibilities.

Follow-up questions seeking that information had not been answered as of Tuesday afternoon.

There also is a process in place for Mabley and the IDHS to appeal the findings of the investigation, and any penalties imposed, should they choose to do so.

According to Kollias’ email, the investigation ensued after a staff member entered a resident’s room May 14 and found two residents with their genitals exposed.

They were separated and moved to separate homes at the center. Their families were informed and their individual service plans were adjusted, Kollias wrote.

The IDHS, the IDPH, state police and the Office of the Executive Inspector General, which investigates certain state agencies, including the IDHS, were notified immediately, she wrote.

The state police declined to investigate, and the inspector general “referred the incident back to the facility as the incident, as alleged [i.e., not involving alleged abuse or neglect of a resident by a staff member], does not fall under OIG jurisdiction,” Kollias said.

State statute requires residential facilities serving disabled people to evaluate their ability to consent and to provide sex education appropriate to their level of understanding, she said in the email.

Kollias did not say if either of the residents had been or would be given such information.

The Mabley Center, founded in 1987, serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Many also have visual and hearing impairments.

As of June 1, it had 116 residents on the 13-acre campus at 1120 Washington Ave., the IDHS reported on its website.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the agency that was notified about an alleged assault at the Jack Mabely Developmental Center. It is the Illinois Department of Human Services Office of the Inspector General.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.