Community & Education Hong Kong Law & Crime

Family of mentally impaired woman takes legal action over alleged rape at care home

The family of a mentally impaired care home resident is taking legal action after its former director allegedly had non-consensual sex with her in 2014.

Sexual assault charges against ex-director Cheung Kin-wah were withdrawn by prosecution in 2016 after the woman, who has a moderate intellectual disability, was deemed unfit to testify.

The woman’s family then filed a suit against Cheung, the Bridge of Rehabilitation care home, and its parent company Cheer Holdings Limited, Ming Pao reported on Tuesday.

cheung kin wah

Cheung Kin-wah. Photo: Apple Daily.

They requested compensation from the defendants, but the writ did not specify the amount sought.

The writ alleged that Cheung sexually assaulted the care home resident, and the three defendants had committed a breach of responsibility.

Established more than 20 years ago, Bridge of Rehabilitation mainly served mentally disabled and people who were previously diagnosed with mental illnesses.

Misconduct 

Cheung was permanently stripped of his qualifications by the Social Workers Registration Board last week. The statutory body said its disciplinary committee found that his actions constituted misconduct.

The committee said that, as the director of a care home for people with mental disabilities, Cheung should embody the values and beliefs of a social worker to help those in need.

“But, the respondent instead used the power of his position to arrange private meetings with Miss X – who is mentally impaired – and even had sexual contact with her. His actions contradict the basic values and beliefs of a social worker, and seriously violated the ethical bottom line,” the committee said.

bridge of rehabilitation

The Bridge of Rehabilitation care home.

In response to HK01‘s questions about the board’s order, which stated that he had “sexually assaulted” the woman, Cheung said he did not know why the board made the allegation.

The Bridge of Rehabilitation was embroiled in another scandal last year, after media reports revealed that at least six residents died at the home. The Social Welfare Department then revoked the temporary licence of the care home – the first time a care home had its licence taken away.

Family of mentally impaired woman takes legal action over alleged rape at care home