Florida Caregiver Arrested After Allegedly Fathering Child With Patient

Florida caregiver impregnated disabled woman — but his arrest took 4 years, police say

A man who worked as a caregiver at a Florida health care facility for people with disabilities was arrested Wednesday after police accused him of impregnating a resident there who has the mental capacity of a small child.

Willie Shorter, 58, who worked as an employee at the Bridges assisted-living facility in Central Florida, was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a disabled person, according to the charging affidavit.

Police say Shorter impregnated a patient at the facility who gave birth to a baby boy in May 2015. The baby was adopted by the woman's family at the time, the facility said.

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says they first received reports about the pregnant disabled woman at a group home in Rockledge four years ago, but they were unable to prove who the father might be. Police wanted to test Shorter's DNA to see if he was a match, but were unable to find enough evidence to compel a sample at the time.

Shorter agreed to the DNA test in April 2018 after the woman accused him of sexual assault. When DNA results returned on Wednesday showing a 99.9% match between Shorter and the child, the health care worker was arrested by deputies.

The woman, who hasn't been identified by police, is described as having the mental capacity of a small child and therefore, could not have consented to the sexual intercourse "based on her mental health."

Sheriff's officials did not disclose how old the woman was, but said in the affidavit that she was a "mentally challenged female " who was unable to tell the difference between a lie and the truth, or distinguish right from wrong.

Shorter was released from the Brevard County Jail Thursday on $15,000 bail. Court records do not show whether he has retained an attorney. The Florida Department of Children and Families is also investigating the facility, officials said.

Photo: Brevard County Sheriff's Department

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