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Lesbian who claimed hospital ban faces assault charges

Sarah Bray (Photo: Provided by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)INDIANAPOLIS — Sarah Bray, who last week claimed that she had been banned from visiting her same-sex partner in an Indianapolis hospital, is now facing battery and criminal confinement charges.
 
The charges came after her partner, Jennifer Clemmer, told investigators that Bray assaulted her after the two had a verbal argument about Clemmer playing on her computer instead of cleaning the house, according to a probable cause affidavit.
 
The revelation came when detectives interviewed Clemmer late Saturday night in the critical care unit at St. Francis Hospital.
 
Clemmer said Bray hit her with a fist, punched her several times in the head and upper torso, pulled her by the hair and slammed her face into the wood floor, according to court documents.
 
The alleged assault happened at about 10:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in the home the pair shared.
 
During the assault, Bray said, "So you always want to be the victim, do ya?" Clemmer told investigators, according to documents.
 
Clemmer said she lost consciousness after she ran to the bathroom to escape from Bray.
 
Bray's two sons witnessed the assault, documents said, and were told not to say anything.
 
Documents said Clemmer had scratches and bruises all over her body.
 
Last Wednesday, Bray told the Indianapolis Star that her partner was taken to the hospital after a drug overdose. She said Clemmer's mother banned her from visiting her partner and the hospital upheld that ban.
 
Hospital officials said at that time that Bray was never prohibited from visiting Clemmer.
 
Legal experts weighed in on whether Bray's claim amounted to discrimination. Gay rights advocates argued that Bray's rights were being violated. But legal experts consulted by The Indianapolis Star said not enough details were known at the time to determine whether the hospital is discriminating against her by allowing Bray to be banned from the room.
 
A memorandum signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners at hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid — even in states such as Indiana that don't recognize same-sex partnerships. It also extends patient care decisions to same-sex partners if they have been designated as the next-of-kin representative.
 
Bray was arrested Tuesday afternoon and is being held at Marion County Jail on an $11,000 bond. She has an initial hearing Thursday.
 

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