DThe Bielefeld public prosecutor’s office has brought charges against four senior employees of the Wittekindshof diaconal facility for the disabled in Bad Oeynhausen. The accused – two men and two women – are said to have committed criminal offenses, some of them serious, such as imprisonment and physical harm when dealing with 18 mentally handicapped people.
A 58-year-old deacon is said to be responsible for 210 cases of deprivation of liberty, including 18 serious cases, in his capacity as head of a department at the special education facility. According to the findings of the investigators, the deacon ordered the locking up of disabled people in countless cases, although there was no legal basis for this. The prosecution also accuses the deacon of dangerous bodily harm in ten cases because, according to the written nursing documentation of the Wittekindshof, he ordered the use of tear gas.
The 55-year-old deacon-in-waiting has been charged with 125 counts of unlawful detention and nine counts of grievous bodily harm by tear gas for failing to intervene with her boss. According to the prosecution, the department head of the Wittekindshof’s intensive care for remedial pedagogy is to answer in court because she is said to have ordered 76 deprivation of liberty and three times the use of tear gas.
Locked up on nine square meters
A 69-year-old psychiatrist is not only accused of dozens of deprivation of liberty by omission. The public prosecutor also accuses him of illegal drug administration. He is said to have given a sexually assaulting resident a total of 29 depot injections of the drug Salvacyl, although the patient had not been informed and there was no judicial decision to do so. With the help of the drug, the level of testosterone in the body is reduced. However, the so-called chemical castration is said to have caused osteoporosis and depression in the person concerned.
The investigations were initiated by the criminal complaint of the sister and legal guardian of a former Wittekindshof resident. Her brother is said to have been locked in his nine-square-meter room for several months without release and immobilized with medication.
On behalf of the “Herbst” investigative commission, around 70 police officers searched the facility for the disabled at the end of 2019 and secured numerous files and electronic data. Initially, 165 suspects were suspected; the proceedings against 89 of them – mainly nursing staff – have now been discontinued. The proceedings against 72 other people are still ongoing.