John Golden holds up the funeral program for his mother, Curliene Golden, at a press conference in July, in Jonesboro. He and his attorney suspect that she was sexually assaulted at Governor's Glen Assisted Living Facility in Clayton County. She died weeks later. (Christina Matacotta/Christina.Matacotta@ajc.com)
Photo: Christina R. Matacotta
Photo: Christina R. Matacotta

Son searches for answers in mother’s alleged assault

In her final year, Curliene Golden lost her ability to speak clearly and relied on a visual board with letters to communicate. On the morning of Sept. 5, 2018, she spelled out an unspeakable horror.

A hospice nurse at Governor’s Glen Memory Care and Assisted Living Community found the 94-year-old widow that morning complaining of discomfort in her vaginal and buttocks area.

She spelled out that a man sexually assaulted her the previous night, her family alleges in a lawsuit. Her speech condition meant she couldn’t scream for help.

» SEARCHABLE DATABASE: Details on every home studied by the AJC

» MORE: The ‘Unprotected’ investigative series

Golden died six weeks later, and her son is left searching for an unknown attacker he believes violated his mother. “Seeing and knowing what my mom told me happened to her shouldn’t happen to any human being,” said John Golden.

» LISTEN BELOW: Carrie Teegardin discusses the "Unprotected" series on GPB's "On Second Thought"

The lawsuit alleges that the facility’s inaction after his mother described the alleged crime allowed her attacker to escape investigative scrutiny. It took several hours before police were called, according to the family. The facility disputes that claim.

Forest Park investigators say they didn’t have enough evidence to pursue a case. The police investigation is open but inactive.

» MORE: Prosecutors not alerted to potential crimes

» CONSUMER GUIDE: Resources for finding and evaluating a senior care facility

Governor’s Glen officials said a review by the Department of Community Health found nothing wrong with the facility’s actions. Because complaints are confidential unless they are substantiated, the AJC could not determine what DCH may have done.

“We believe nothing happened,” said Dennis Stamey, an operating partner with Canopy Lifestyles, the Governor’s Glen management company. He also said the allegations are not reflective of the care provided.

“We do take every single resident’s well-being to heart,” he said.

“Seeing and knowing what my mom told me happened to her shouldn’t happen to any human being,” said John Golden.  Christina Matacotta/Christina.Matacotta@ajc.com
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Local in-depth journalism is essential to keep our community informed and hold public officials accountable. Please start or renew your subscription so we can continue to uncover what’s really going on in our community.

X