Editor's Note: This is the second of a two-part series of stories investigating conditions in Oklahoma's group homes for the mentally disabled, mentally ill and elderly. The investigation was conducted by reporters from the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman. Officials have investigated two dozen cases of abuse and neglect at federally supported homes for mentally disabled people since 2007 and found more than 2,500 violations of care standards, public records show. Homes had violations ranging from failing to protect a resident from sexual assault to failing to provide a sanitary environment, according to records from the state Health Department. New Frontiers shut down in OKC metro An outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases, mental anguish and a rape allegation ultimately led to the 2007 shut down of a string of New Frontiers cottages in the Oklahoma City area. “We had a systemic breakdown throughout these cottages,” said Dorya Huser, the state Health Department's chief of long-term care services. “We had some serious concerns.” Inspectors visited New Frontiers more than 60 times in about a year, Huser said, even though facilities usually just get a yearly inspection, plus an occasional revisit or visit initiated by a complaint. “Each time we seemed to find more problems,” she said. Edmond attorney Floyd Propps was hired by owner Don Moore to try and prevent closure of the nine cottages that housed about 60 residents. “I remember it being so frustrating. Anything we tried to do didn't seem to work,” he said. “I think there was an immense amount of friction between the administration there and the Health Department.” Records reveal that from 2006 to 2007: *Three patients tested positive for sexually transmitted diseases and test results were missing for a fourth patient. *Six patients from four cottages were likely exposed to sexually transmitted diseases. *The homes failed to protect patients from sexual exploitation and consequently spread sexually transmitted diseases. *Neglect due to mental anguish from frequent witnessing of inappropriate sexual behavior. *An alleged rape of a female resident by a male resident in July 2007. Homes should provide sex education, access to birth control and protection for sexually active clients, said Mary Fleming, the Health Department's director of long term care survey. “There was a lot of education. There was a lot of follow-up when it was learned certain people had a sexually transmitted disease,” she said. The department declined to recommend recertification for the cottages to receive Medicaid reimbursement, essentially forcing the cottages to close. ‘Light a lot of fires’ In March 2008, Jerald Ray Bishop, a Home of Hope employee, allegedly raped and sexually abused a female resident of the Vinita home. The abuse allegedly took place on several occasions while he worked as a job coach. Bishop is awaiting an April 16 preliminary hearing in Craig County to determine whether he will be tried. David Svedman, chief executive officer of Home of Hope, said police were notified the day the resident informed staff and Bishop was immediately fired. Svedman said he was frustrated with the lack of response from state officials in the follow-up investigation. He said Bishop worked at another health-care home before the warrants were issued. He credits the victim’s father for pushing officials into action. “We had to light a lot of fires to get people to look into this,” Svedman said. Torture Death Some abuse allegations don’t appear in inspection reports but are referred to local police or the Attorney General for investigation. In February 2007, Lamar James Rouce, a certified nurse aide-in-training with Westview Living Center in Guthrie was charged with felony caretaker abuse after he pushed down a 59-year-old male resident, an arrest affidavit states. Court affidavits state the resident was hospitalized with a punctured lung, fractured ribs and a broken nose. He was treated and released from a Logan County hospital. Rouce pleaded guilty in 2008 to a reduced charge of misdemeanor disorderly conduct with bodily injury. Calls to Rouce were not returned, but a family member said he is not living in Oklahoma and is attending school. Oklahoma’s nurse aide registry lists him as unemployable because of abuse. At Westview in 2002, June Etta Rose, 68, was raped, killed and mutilated while living at Westview Living Center in Guthrie, court records show. Fellow resident Thomas Bruce Ensley raped and stabbed Rose, according to a lawsuit filed by Rose’s brother, Billy Kouts. Ensley was charged with first-degree murder, but his mental retardation has prevented him from standing trial. Kouts sued the home for failing to prevent the attack and supervise its residents. The home and Kouts have settled the suit. “To me, it was mainly unsupervised properly for the residents,” Kouts said. “When I was growing up with her, I had to keep an eye on her.” But the Health Department never faulted Westview’s policies, said the home’s administrator Antoine Smith. In fact, unlike some homes, Westview Living Center has tallied no fines and few violations since 2006, health department reports show. “We were never cited by the state,” Smith said. “There was no wrongful cause.” Compliance through fines The state Health Department is fining home owners to force more compliance, Huser said. Homes were fined nearly $87,000 since 2000, with the highest of $24,000. State inspectors can suggest these homes not be recertified by the federal government, but that is a long process, Huser said. The homes are inspected annually. Administrators are critical of the inspections, saying state officials have a nursing-home, medical focus. But they rarely challenge the violations, fearing retaliation. Scott Pilgrim, owner of Country Cottage in Beggs, said inspections could be changed with a more resident goal-oriented focus. He said some state nursing-home regulations do not apply to these types of homes and not all inspectors are consistent.