LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A mother is looking for answers after her son, who spent his life in a coma, was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease.

Guillermo Serrano Jr. was once an outgoing child with endless energy, but prior to his third birthday, he nearly drowned in a swimming pool, sending him into a lifelong coma. He was unable to move and had very little brain activity.

“It’s hard because you know the way he was before and all of a sudden there’s somebody just laying there,” Yolando Serrano, the boy’s mother, said.

In 1991, Mrs. Serrano entered her son into the Lantern Developmental Center in Pomona.

“I thought it was a nice place. They talk to you real sweet, they promise you the world, you know, what a mother wants to hear,” she said.

But as years passed, Mrs. Serrano said the hospital staff forgot to tell her things, like a finger infection that turned to gangrene.

“Back then, yes you have your doubts and you say why wouldn’t they tell me, but you still want to believe they made a mistake,” she said.

Only there was no mistaking what happened next.

CBS2 and KCAL9’s Nicole Gonzales obtained medical records which show that Serrano’s son was diagnosed with condyloma acuminata, more commonly known as genital warts, in 2006.

Mrs. Serrano claims the Lanterman Developmental Center, where her son had been staying since 1991, allegedly told her it was simply a diaper rash. Early this year, she finally got the medical records and the diagnosis.

“You think you have everything under control. You think you’re the best mother in the world, and something like that happens and it makes you feel like, worthless,” she said.

A patient advocate for Serrano has filed a report with the state-run police unit at Lanterman alleging someone sexually abused her son.

Serrano’s son did go to other area hospitals for treatment on occasion.

Last week, Serrano transferred her son to a West Covina hospice to spend his final days. He died June 6.

The Lanterman facility and the agencies involved all declined comment, citing patient privacy, despite the fact that Mrs. Serrano signed a waiver saying those agencies could discuss the case. Officers dealing with the investigation also declined to comment.

Comments (21)
  1. Mary says:

    To the mother: I am terribly sorry you not only have to endure the pain of losing your precious son, but now you have to deal with a rape case. Sigh. This world is a disgrace. Mexican, Black White, who cares????A mother has to deal with a serious crime committed against her child. I pray, and I do hope justice is seved in this case. I don’t know what to say…

  2. Calgal says:

    This story makes me sick. Who could do such a despicable thing to a poor defenseless child? This is just beyond words. My heart goes out to the mom of this little boy. I hope they find the disgusting pig who did this and they should be shot, or thrown in with the general population in prison to be dealt with.

  3. ginny says:

    TT,no he was not an illegal. For God Skakes, at some point the racial baloney has got to stop or atleast slow down. This was a small child who nearly drown, lived the rest of his life in a coma and who was sexually assaulted while in a long term facility. My heart breaks for this mother. I hope you get to the bottom of this and those that should be heldesponsible are made to do just that.

  4. Really? says:

    This sounds almost unbelievable. I would really like to believe this was a mistaken diagnosis or some freak way of contracting genital warts maybe by poor hygiene or care. What the hell is this world coming to. Can things get any worse or more sick or twisted?

  5. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Really? – yes it can, and it will. Just do your best to protect your children. I am so terribly sorry about Bryan Stow; however, I think this case is most urgent and this case should be made a PRIORITY.I had to read the story twice just to see if what I read is what I read the first time. Sad, what else can someone say? Sad.

  6. Calgal says:

    I referred to him as a little boy, but realized my mistake later, when I re-read and saw the dates. Still no one knows when the abuse happened and it really doesn’t matter. Abuse is abuse and the fact that it happened to a person who couldn’t fend for themselves, makes it all the more sick. But I’m sure in the mom’s eyes he was still a little boy.

  7. Kathy says:

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. There are a lot of men who have sex with women’s dead bodies…yes dead bodies! Yep, right before the bodies go in the freezer…not going to say the names or location but you get the point.

    1. ImpishLisa says:

      People would freak if they knew a lo of stuff, wouldn’t they? Just living in their perfect little bubbles. She wasn’t called to be told about the gangrene? Called? She obviously wasn’t going in a lot to see her son if his finger turned to gangrene and she didn’t know. I am not excusing the crime, but the only way to protect your loved ones is to be there. Are you your (brother/son/husband)’s keeper? That’s up to you. But if you feel this outraged, remember when it’s your loved one in there.

      1. Nadine Arellano Goeller says:

        Your right, I guess this would have never happened if the mother wou.d have been there 24hours a day. It must feel pretty good to know that this could never happen to anyone in your family cause you would be there 24 hours a day. Not that it’s any of your business but I know this mother. Not only has she had to watch her son suffer for 27years, she also has a daughter who has to go to dialysis 3times a week and is currently waiting for a kidney transplant. This is only a part of what this mother deals with so don’t be so quick to judge.

  8. Audrey says:

    We had more than a few of those cases in the last few years.To immobilized patients.Wether elderly or medial care facilities. Majority of them are committed by staff with hispanic last names.Both care staff and cleaning staff.Look it up.

  9. sushma says:

    whats wrong with them cant they see thats a little boy and hez sick ..such people should die of all those dangerous health problems or else shuld be shot in public so that such people and many others of such kind will never do anything or dare to take a chance

  10. sandy springs says:


  11. prekmom says:

    Wow, this is what you got out of this sad story? You’re not right in the head, or heart I should say

  12. kelly says:

    You are a complete moron. You probably are related to the low life who committed this awful crime.

  13. ImpishLisa says:

    Why are you angry with me? I have family in nursing homes and I don’t care if she has a kid on dialysis. We go weekly to see them, and make sure the staff isn’t stealing their clothes, taking their things. You need to watch staff, laundry folks, room mates, etc.
    (yes, it happens. Don’t pretend reality away)
    Not only do you need to show them (staff and patient) that someone cares, you need to be proactive.
    What happened was terrible. but i guarantee staff sees who is a regularly visited patient and THOSE patients get the attention before the forgotten souls.
    I have been around nursing homes since I was 16 and had to volunteer for a beauty pageant’s requirements. Abandoned people are treated like meat in them places.

    All I said was, IF you love your family and do not want to see this, then you are who should be there, making sure it doesn’t happen. We like to hope people serving as doctors and nurses do it for love of humanity, but many don’t.
    You need to notice cuts, bruises and keep photo records. It protects the staff as much as the patient.

    1. Nadine Arellano Goeller says:

      I’m not angry with you. This mother has been there and filed numerous complaints and has not received any help. I know you said you didn’t care that she has a daughter who also receives dialysis. Thank god you don’t have to endure what she does you couldn’t handle it. May god bless you and your family

    2. Tacobell says:

      Really!!! I was always taught if you don’t have nothing nice to say Just Shut The Hell Up!!! Don’t judge!!! God forbid you ever have to walk in this Ladys shoes!!

    3. yolanda serrano says:


  14. Kimmie says:

    This facility should be closed and in 2010 a proposal was given to close it down. I am surprised that the CBS Reporters didn’t mention this. I wonder if they have other cases against them as well. This is very sad and tragic. You can hardly trust any institutions these days. So many evil things are happening everyday.

  15. Lydia Arellano Villanueva says:

    I have read all the comments and here are my thoughts.

    This story was not published for anyones sympathy but rather to inform the listeners that these types of tragedies do occur. I as well know the mother of Guillermo Serrano Jr. and know that gods hands were upon her and her family through this difficult time. Her best friend (my sister) has been by her side every step of the way and still is. I was privileged to be with the Serrano family when there son Guillermo passed away on June 6th. I watched his mother hold him in her arms and sing to him sweetly lallabie’s as though he was still a child. Understand, that the last coversation his mother had with her son was when he was a little boy. And that is the only verbal memory she has.

    So for those of you who have loved ones in any type of facilty and think that a weekly visit is enough, think again.

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