Main | Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sonoma County On Gay Seniors Harold & Clay: It Was A Case Of Domestic Abuse

We've been hearing for a day or so that there may be much more to the story of Sonoma County gay seniors Harold and Clay, whose handling by hospital authorities has so riled much of the nation over the last week. According to county officials and the local sheriff's department, in 2008 Harold attacked Clay, putting him in the hospital.
The Guerneville man suing Sonoma County for separating him from his partner and selling their possessions had attacked the other man and at one point threatened to kill him, according to the sheriff’s department report of the 2008 incident released Wednesday. But no charges were brought against Clay Greene, 78, accused of attacking Harold Scull, 88, because prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence. Greene has repeatedly denied the allegations of abuse and Scull at the time was unwilling to pursue charges. “As far as we’re concerned, it’s a closed matter,” Diana Gomez, assistant district attorney, said. “We rejected it two years ago.” That opinion in the criminal case could chip away at the underpinnings of the county’s response to a lawsuit filed by Greene that is drawing national and international attention and has become a cause célèbre in the gay community.
Officials claim that Clay wanted to be put in a nursing home, away from Harold's reach.
Spaulding said the allegations of abuse is the real case. Greene, he said, attacked Scull and the county stepped in to protect the elder man at his own request. In court documents, Spaulding said Scull was admitted to Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa on April 27, 2008 as a result of domestic violence-related injuries inflicted by Greene. The case was reported to the Sheriff’s Office, adult protective services and the county’s public guardian, who all conducted investigations, he said. Scull allegedly told officials he no longer wished to live with Greene, so he was placed in a nursing home. Greene was later deemed incapable of caring for himself and was sent to a different facility, Spaulding said. The men were given a chance to remove possessions from their rented Sebastopol house, he said. What was left was sold at auction to cover their expenses, Spaulding said.
Today the Sonoma Country Sheriff's released the below statement. Embiggen to read. Even if the domestic abuse allegations are true, I doubt it will clear the county of all of the charges in the lawsuit filed against them.

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