Those confined to nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other long-term care facilities are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society. Although most such residents are elderly and frail, there are also many younger people who need special care due to physical, emotional, or intellectual problems.
Unfortunately, patient abuse by caregivers is on the rise. The abuse can take many forms, including not only neglect of medical needs but also physical attack and sexual assault. Recently, a Kentucky caregiver pleaded guilty and four others were charged in a case alleging the sexual abuse of an intellectually disabled adult.
Caregiver Pleads Guilty on Nine Counts
A 23-year-old former employee of Community Choices Unlimited has pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse and five counts of third-degree sodomy as a result of acts that allegedly took place in Franklin County, Kentucky, between April 2013 and January 2015. The two victims were both intellectually disabled adults. The defendant will have a sentencing hearing later this summer.
Co-Workers Charged with Failing to Report
Four other employees of Community Choices Unlimited, which manages several facilities for intellectually disabled adults in the Frankfort area, have been indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on felony wanton neglect charges in the patient abuse case. The defendants include a 43-year-old man, a 32-year-old man, a 55-year-old woman, and a 40-year-old woman. All were charged with multiple counts of wanton neglect and either one or two counts of failure to notify reported abuse. Wanton neglect is a Class D felony that carries one to five years in prison. Failure to Notify Reported Abuse is a Class B misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail.
The case was investigated by the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Jack Conway was quoted as saying, “caregivers cannot simply turn a blind eye to known abuse or neglect.” He then stated that those who do not uphold their duty to report neglect or abuse will themselves risk criminal charges.
The Attorney General’s Office has also set up a tip line for reporting possible abuse. The number is 1-877-228-7384.
If You Suspect a Loved One is Being Abused or Neglected
In addition to criminal penalties, the legal system also provides for civil remedies in cases in which a nursing home or other long-term care facility patient is abused or neglected. If you suspect that your loved one may have been harmed while confined to a nursing facility, you need to speak to an attorney about your right to seek monetary compensation on your loved one’s behalf. Do not delay in taking this important step. In addition to possibly subjecting your loved one to further harm, waiting to take legal action could result in missing a filing deadline and other issues that could limit or even preclude recovery. To speak to an experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney, call English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley at 270-782-6500 today. We represent nursing home abuse and neglect victims throughout the Commonwealth.
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