By Patrick Noaker
According to a report from NBC – CT, a job coach for persons with intellectual disabilities, Ricardo Marchand, was arrested for sexually abusing two clients under Marchand’s supervision. According to the news report, Marchand sexually assaulted the two victims multiple times between 2014 and 2017 while the victims were working at the Allstate Records Retention warehouse facility in East Windsor, Connecticut. Marchand reportedly had the two victims watch pornography and then had sexual contact with the victims. One of the victims was mostly nonverbal. According to the report, Marchand’s sexual abuse was uncovered after one of the victims told his mother what Marchand was doing.
Sexual abuse of persons with intellectual disabilities is a huge problem. According to an National Public Radio report by Joseph Shapiro, persons with intellectual disabilities are sexually abused at a rate seven times the rate of the general population. This profound rate of abuse is not difficult to understand. The truth is, persons with intellectual disabilities are vulnerable to manipulation by those around them.
This case, emphasizes the need for open communication between caregivers and persons with intellectual disabilities and the need for caregivers to act on that information. Here, if the first victim had not reported the sexual abuse to his mother, and the mother did not take action, this sexual abuse might still be happening. Often Persons with intellectual disabilities must be taught that sexual contact with authority figures is wrong and they should report it, should it occur (see Noaker Law Firm video Tell Someone). If a caregiver suspects or discovers that something inappropriate has occurred, report it to law enforcement or social services immediately (See Noaker Law Firm Videos What Should I Do and Report It.). We must all be vigilant of signs of sexual abuse such as sexualized behavior, increased anxiety or depression (see Noaker Law Firm video Signs of Abuse).
It is time that we commit to better protecting those in our community with an intellectual disability from sexual assault.
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For 27 years, Patrick Noaker has represented clients in courtrooms across the country, including hundreds of sexual abuse survivors. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for winning multiple jury trial verdicts exceeding $1M and for winning millions more in settlements. Patrick has also been selected by his peers as a Minnesota SuperLawyer.