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Terminix employee accused of raping mentally challenged St. Pete woman

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A Terminix employee is accused of raping a mentally incapacitated 23-year-old woman in her apartment while on the job.

Mary Scroggins, 50, mother of the victim, is suing Terminix, Garden Court Apartments, and the unnamed employee for one count of battery against the perpetrator, two counts of negligent hiring against Terminix and the apartment complex, and one count of vicarious liability against Terminix.

The complex, located in Pinellas County, is home to Scroggins and her daughter, referred to in the suit as Jane Doe. With a functioning IQ of 67, approximately the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, Doe is “mentally defective” under Florida law.

Scroggins requested that due to her daughter’s disability, no vendor was to enter her apartment unless she was home.

On April 11, 2016, Terminix was performing pest control services in the unit. The Terminix employee had knowledge of Doe’s disability. After entering Scroggins’ apartment, the employee noticed he was alone with Doe. The accused then brought tools to his truck, and returned to the apartment, where he is charged with aggressively committing “unwanted, unwelcomed, uninvited, unsolicited, nonconsensual, sexual intercourse with Jane Doe.”

Afterward, the man told Doe “not to tell anyone what he did to her.”

According to the suit filed Oct. 13, Doe experienced bodily injury, pain and suffering, loss of dignity, permanent psychological injuries, medical expenses, and loss of the enjoyment of life due to this event.

Terminix was under a contract with Garden Court to provide pest and termite control. Employees were granted full access to the apartments. The suit says Garden Court employees were aware of Doe’s condition.

On a separate occasion, a maintenance employee of Garden Court attempted to sexually assault Doe. The employee was fired.

Scroggins is demanding a jury trial.

Garden Court Apartments is at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue North and 74th Street North in St. Petersburg.

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