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Suspect in custody for Altus nursing home assault

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) - A man is now behind bars in Altus after he was accused of sexually assaulting a nursing home resident.

The Jackson County Sheriff's office says Manuel Gonzales Perez, 70, was booked into jail a little before 10 p.m. Monday night after he was charged and a warrant was issued earlier in the day. He is charged with sexual battery and has been booked into the Jackson County Jail on a $75,000 bond. 

Altus Police Chief Tim Murphy says they received a call around 1 p.m. Sunday saying a resident was sexually assaulted at the Plantation Village Assisted Living Center. He says Perez was visiting another female resident in the facility.

Police say a say a staff member observed inappropriate conduct and reported it immediately to authorities.

The family is just heartbroken and wanting more answers. But in the mean time, they're focused on finding a safer place for their mother to live and call home.

"This is somebody's mom and I know there's others in there and I am not saying that these people don't care about them, but there has to be other things you have to be more aware," the son said. "We've had some issues here. There's a lot of turnover, a lot of issues and a lot of problems, I don't know what it is. I just want my mom safe."

After hearing his mother was allegedly sexually assaulted at the place she called home for about 4 years, he broke down...but knew he had to be strong for the rest of his family.

"They were calling me last night crying cause this is their grandmother," the son said. "This is our mother."

He says he remembers visiting his mom many times and noticing the security at the facility was lacking.

"I'm just appalled," the son said. "I'm like how can this possibly happen. I've been here and I walk around this place, why does anybody, they don't ask me, what are you doing. Who are you here to see. I know some of them know me, but still. If I am in the area that I should not be somebody should say something."

He hopes the center ramps up security so no other family or resident has to experience the pain and suffering that he and his family are going through now.

"I think they need to take more precaution on who's in there," the son said. "I understand that people have the right to come visit their family, but they should have a right to know that this is their home and that they feel safe in it and that they're taken care of."

We received a statement from the corporate office of the Plantation Village Nursing Center and they said, "We are committed to residents in our home and strive to provide quality care in a safe environment. When staff observed inappropriate conduct on the part of a visitor, they responded immediately, notified authorities, the family and the state so that actions could be taken. They continue to cooperate with the police and the district attorney in the investigation of this matter and will seek to have the individual involved held accountable for his actions. We are and will remain fully committed to the safety and well-being of our residents."

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