On May 8, 2023, Edy “Eddie” Velazquez, a former behavioral health technician at Lucida Treatment Center, a substance abuse and mental health facility in Lantana, Florida, appeared in a Palm Beach County court and pleaded guilty to criminal charges that he sexually assaulted a female patient. The sexual misconduct occurred on January 29, 2021. Velasquez was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to one year in jail followed by five years probation and was designated as a sexual offender and ordered to have no contact with the victim. Lucida Treatment Center is affiliated with Promises Behavioral Health Company.
According to the probable cause arrest affidavit and media reports, the female patient contacted the Lantana Police Department after she discovered Lucida Treatment Center never reported her assault. She told law enforcement that while she was a patient at Lucida in Lantana from January 3, 2021, to February 3, 2021, she was sexually assaulted by a male behavioral health technician, Edy Armando Velasquez. In a detailed sworn statement, the victim stated that Velasquez entered her living quarters uninvited while her roommate was out. On the first incident, he forcibly kissed her. He later returned at approximately 11:30 p.m., threw her on the bed, moved her underwear to the side, and digitally penetrated her vagina while making threats of harm. She also said he tasted his fingers and commented, “Man, you taste good.” She also said that Velasquez told her not to tell anyone.
The victim said she told her roommate and a staff member of the recovery center the following day but did not want to press charges at that time as she was afraid of the perpetrator. During the investigation, the facility’s employees were uncooperative with law enforcement, according to the arrest affidavit. Investigators subpoenaed records and noted that the recovery center did not follow protocol in documenting and reporting the incident correctly, according to Florida Statutes. Notably, treatment records for the victim from the facility were found for every day except January 29, the day of the incident.
In May 2021, the victim wanted to press charges against Edy Velasquez, stating she had been mentally distraught by the abuse. The victim provided the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Lab with the underwear she had on when Velasquez touched her. During the investigation, Velasquez was ordered to provide a DNA sample. Investigators concluded that Velasquez’s and the victim’s DNA were detected on the outside and inside the crotch of the underwear. This was deemed sufficient evidence to arrest Velasquez.
Before Velasquez obtained employment in a mental health facility, he was employed as a sergeant with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. In 2008, Palm Beach County Former Sergeant Eddie Velasquez was placed on administrative as he was one of six corrections deputies arrested in connection with an overtime fraud scheme that cost Palm Beach County over $350,000. Velasquez faced 2nd and 3rd-degree felony charges in the case but pleaded guilty to lesser charges and agreed to resign from the Sheriff’s Office. Velasquez also previously worked at Desert Rose Recovery Center in Palm Beach Gardens.
Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against healthcare professionals for patients who were inappropriately touched in their care. Under no circumstances is a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider permitted to have sexual contact with a patient. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery at a medical office or facility, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or e-mail sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.