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2 SC Caretakers Arrested After Strapping Disabled Adult To Toilet Overnight, Police Say

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Two Clinton, South Carolina caretakers were recently arrested after they allegedly strapped a vulnerable adult to a toilet for hours at Whitten Regional Center, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Mariquita Antionetta Mcgowan, 35, and Jasmine Lariane Tomika Carter,25, were both charged with neglect of a vulnerable adult, according to SLED.

Located in Laurens County, the Whitten Regional Center is the state’s largest facility housing mentally disabled adults and persons with special needs. It is run by the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. Both Mcgowan and Carter were employed as caretakers at the facility.

Mcgowan was working at the Whitten Center when she strapped a resident to the toilet with a cloth-like restraint around 10:40 p.m. on November 23, 2020, according to arrest warrants.

After strapping the resident to the toilet, Mcgowan never went back to check on her, according to arrest warrants.

Around 2:30 a.m., Carter entered the resident’s room to check on her. She entered the bathroom, turned on the lights, and turned around — choosing to leave the victim strapped in the toilet, according to police.

It wasn’t until 6:21 a.m. when Carter went back to the room and finally removed the resident from the toilet, according to the warrants.

The Whitten Regional Center asked SLED agents to investigate the incident.

Mcgowan and Carter were booked at the Laurens County Detention Center on Wednesday.

They each face up to five years in prison for the felony charge of neglecting a vulnerable adult.

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