Gwinnett County

Behavioral health facility under investigation after accusations of theft, sexual abuse

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County police are investigating several complaints made against a Norcross behavioral health facility. The complaints against Lakeview Behavioral Health Facility range from theft to sexual abuse, according to police.

Channel 2's Audrey Washington spoke with a mother who filed one of the complaints.

Kerri Hitch admitted her 15-year-old son to the facility but later made some serious accusations against the staff.

"He was dealing with some depression," Hitch said. "Within 72 hours, not one doctor contacted us in regards to our son's treatment. They tried giving him Prozac without our consent."

Hitch told Washington, after a couple of days, management at the facility refused to let her son, Ethan, leave.

"I eventually got him by contacting an attorney," Hitch said.

Hitch filed a complaint against Lakeview.

Then according to the Gwinnett County Police Department's Special Victims Unit, several more complaints from other people came in.


Investigators said they're looking into allegations of neglect, missing persons, theft and physical and sexual abuse at the facility.

"While being treated there, they're coming out with injuries that weren't there and that they have no explanation for," said Wilburt Rundles, with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Police said the complaints date back to 2017 and the ages of the alleged victims range from 23 to 65 years old.

On Wednesday, Washington called Lakeview Behavioral Health three times and got no response.

Then, she emailed management. She received a message that her questions will be addressed at a later time. Finally, she visited the facility.

A representative told her no one was available to speak about the allegations.

As of right now, no arrest warrants have been issued in the cases, but police want anyone with information to please come forward.

"We're hoping to reach out to them for assistance, so we can get justice for these people," Rundles said.

It's important to reiterate that police are investigating the allegations. No criminal charges have been filed in the cases.