Father describes anxiousness, anger after daughter’s caregiver arrested in connection along with her pregnancy

Father describes anxiousness, anger after daughter’s caregiver arrested in connection along with her pregnancy

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Robert Blanchard talks about allegations in opposition to a Bridges caregiver who police utter impregnated his daughter, who has developmental disabilities
Eric Rogers, Florida On the fresh time

SEBASTIAN — Robert Blanchard acknowledged his family first turned attentive to a disaster four years in the past, when his daughter would name from a Bridges crew dwelling in tears.

She acknowledged someone became once hurting her, Blanchard acknowledged. He and his family, of Sebastian, held a fresh conference Monday afternoon in a second-ground room at Capt Hiram’s Resort.

“My feelings internal me are anxiousness,”  acknowledged, pausing to amass himself. “Pretty a few fracture.”

Police arrested Willie Shorter, 58, of Rockledge, Feb. 6 and charged him with the 2015 lewd and lascivious battery of Blanchard’s daughter Fracture of day, now forty three, for whom he became once a caregiver. Fracture of day Blanchard has developmental disabilities.

She turned pregnant in early 2015 and gave start to a son in Can also of that twelve months. Police acknowledged recent DNA testing revealed Shorter became once the kid’s father.

“I expected my daughter to be taken care of, most of all by professionals,” Blanchard acknowledged. “My daughter acquired assaulted by a(n) … particular person that felt he may per chance well take a young girl … and exercise her like a fraction of meat. I’m extremely offended …”

More: Bridges employee arrested after fathering child with a girl with disabilities, police utter

Fracture of day Blanchard still lives in a crew dwelling hasten by Bridges, a Rockledge-essentially based mostly nonprofit in Brevard County that affords companies and products for folks with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. 

The family may per chance well no longer provide you with the money for to switch her to a certain facility in the years after the start, her father acknowledged. 

On the time of his arrest final week, Shorter had been employed at Bridges for about eight years. He had remained on workers irrespective of suspicions of his involvement in the pregnancy as far abet as January 2015, police and Bridges officers acknowledged.

More: Sebastian lady became once sufferer of caregiver who fathered child in Brevard County, family says

‘Troubling and traumatic’

“It is terribly troubling and traumatic for us,” acknowledged family authorized professional Kevin C. Smith, of the West Palm Coastline firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. “We’re attracted to security for Fracture of day and guaranteeing we manufacture some measure of justice for this family.”

The newborn became once adopted by Fracture of day Blanchard’s brother and is being raised by his grandparents, Robert Blanchard acknowledged. He’s a usual, pleased boy who loves coloring and taking half in with blocks.

“He hugs on me like an octopus holds on to new food, on fable of he is aware of his Pop-Pop,” he acknowledged, giving the boy a warm smile.

Smith acknowledged beyond the allegations in opposition to Shorter, Fracture of day Blanchard additionally reported being injured on the capability.

“On a few times, she had a dim evaluation and had suffered physical injuries to boot to the assault she claimed,” he acknowledged.


Attorney Kevin C. Smith speaks out about Fracture of day Blanchard, who has developmental disabilities, and intercourse allegations in opposition to her worn Bridges caregiver
Eric Rogers, Florida On the fresh time

Bridges president and CEO David Cooke acknowledged Monday afternoon the nonprofit maintains strict incident reviews and would work via dispute allegations with the Blanchards’ upright counsel.

“We’ll completely … peep abet via our reviews when we now fill got more crucial functions,” he acknowledged.

Smith acknowledged the family intends to abet legislation enforcement officers in the case. 

“I want to thank Rockledge Police Department and significantly that detective for their very perfect job in finally catching this man, on fable of so many of them are still accessible,” Robert Blanchard acknowledged.

The initial investigation

Experiences present the investigation started in early 2015 after workers chanced on Fracture of day Blanchard became once pregnant.

Her incapacity became once an early complication, leaving her unable to relate the distinction between magnificent or contaminated, or between a lie and the real fact, police acknowledged. She has the mental purpose of a 10-twelve months-outdated, the quit outcomes of a mind fracture at a young age that developed as a complication of measles, Smith acknowledged.

Fracture of day Blanchard gave police the names of three folks, two of whom police acknowledged had been eliminated early in the investigation. The 1/three, Shorter, denied the allegations beneath questioning.

Police acknowledged there became once no longer ample proof on the time to compel him to submit a DNA sample. Without ample proof to file charges, the investigation stalled.

More: Man accused of hitting, throwing child on ground more than one times in Stuart

Cooke acknowledged the query of Shorter’s employment became once raised after the initial investigation.

After consulting with the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Cooke acknowledged, it became once made up our minds that Shorter would be kept on workers on fable of he had no longer been charged with a crime.

 “We made up our minds he may per chance well return to work on fable of he became once no longer charged with anything else, but we made up our minds he may per chance well merely still no longer work on the identical dwelling,” Cooke acknowledged.

13 of us lived in the dwelling the set apart Shorter became once caring for the girl, he acknowledged. After returning to work, Shorter became once moved to a certain property housing 15 of us.

More: Port St. Lucie man charged with sexual battery of sound asleep lady

Restful allegations

In April 2018, Fracture of day Blanchard made a claim that Shorter had touched her genitals, police acknowledged in a picture.

Shorter again denied the allegations. This time investigators asked Shorter to voluntarily submit a DNA sample, which he did.


An employee at a Rockledge facility for folks with disabilities became once arrested Wednesday after police acknowledged he fathered a toddler with some of the purchasers.
Wochit, Wochit

The lead investigator received the take a look at outcomes Feb. 6. Police acknowledged the take a look at gave a ninety 9.ninety 9 percent likelihood Shorter became once the kid’s father.

Shorter became once arrested the identical afternoon on the Bridges crew dwelling the set apart he labored. Bridges terminated his employment following the arrest.

Cooke acknowledged he became once certain the nonprofit did all the pieces it may per chance well per chance per chance to retract Fracture of day Blanchard pleasurable.

“We adopted our procedures and today contacted authorities, and adopted via on all investigations, with regard to the Rockledge Police Department, the (Florida) Department of Youngsters and Families and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities,” he acknowledged.

“We have been in Brevard for sixty two years serving of us with disabilities. We’re completely devastated,” Cooke acknowledged. “Here is devastating for the client, for the family. It’s devastating for the workers who work so anxious day after day, working for our purchasers with important disabilities.”

More: Man convicted of molesting 9-twelve months-outdated Vero Coastline child sentenced to 25 years in detention center

Tiring investigation

Rockledge Deputy Police Chief Donna Seyferth acknowledged the incapacity of the client, difficulties touching on to the pregnancy, the involvement of a child and the unhurried tear of DNA testing all posed challenges that slowed growth.

The Florida Department of Rules Enforcement, which tested the DNA sample, acknowledged testing became once done in July 2018.

“FDLE issued a picture to Rockledge PD with the outcomes of the DNA take a look at in unhurried July,” spokesperson Angela Starke acknowledged.

Seyferth acknowledged Bridges, the nonprofit’s officers and workers, and the girl’s family had been fully cooperative throughout the investigation.

Smith acknowledged the Blanchard family is specializing in Fracture of day’s care and restoration.

“Our firm will behavior a rotund investigation of this incident to resolve what measures may per chance be taken in opposition to Bridges and the prolonged-time period care of (Fracture of day).”  

Eric Rogers is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm and FLORIDA TODAY.

Contact Rogers at 772-978-2224

or eric.rogers@tcpalm.com.

Twitter: @EricRogersFT

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