Florida caregiver arrested for impregnating woman with disabilities, police say

Willie Fred Shorter, 58, was arrested for allegedly impregnating a woman with disabilities in 2015, when he worked in a group home. (Brevard County Sheriff’s Office)

A Florida caregiver was arrested Wednesday after a years-long investigation revealed he impregnated a woman with disabilities while working in a group home, police said.

Willie Fred Shorter, 58, was arrested on a charge of committing lewd and lascivious battery on a disabled person, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.

Shorter was working in a group home run by the Bridges foundation when he allegedly impregnated a woman who has “the mental capacity of a small child” and is unable to give consent, Florida Today reported. The staff discovered the woman, who was not identified, was pregnant in January 2015 and contacted police.

The woman initially named three men who were potentially the father of her child, FOX35 reported. Shorter’s name came up, but he denied the allegations and there was not enough evidence for authorities to obtain a DNA sample.

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The woman gave birth in May 2015 and her family adopted the baby, but the investigation stalled until last April, when the victim said Shorter touched her genitals while she was in the group home.

Shorter voluntarily submitted a DNA sample, which matched with the child, police said.

Shorter was an employee with Bridges for about eight years and worked as a “direct support staff” with people with disabilities, Bridges president and CEO David Cooke told Florida Today.

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“We’ve been in Brevard for 62 years serving people with disabilities. We are absolutely devastated,” Cooke told the news site. “This is devastating for the client, for the family. It’s devastating for the staff who work so hard everyday, working for our clients with significant disabilities.”

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