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Nursing Home Sex Abuse Cases Draw Headlines

Our Parkland nursing home abuse lawyers understand that an allegation of sexual assault on a 90-year-old nursing home resident in Michigan has been garnering headlines after numerous staffers were initially put on paid leave.

According to local news reports, there had been outrage because the alleged assault, reported by the daughter of the resident, was reportedly committed by a younger black male. In turn, the nursing home put all younger black males who had been in contact with the woman on paid leave, sparking outrage from those who claimed racial profiling.

However, the administrator who made the call is black, and said the decision had to be made in order to sort through the facts of the investigation, which has now expanded to a second local police department in the district of the facility where the woman lived prior to moving to her current residence.

Administrators have said there is no “indication” of abuse, only a “suspicion” of abuse. At this point, no arrests have been made.

As we’ve recently reported in our Parkland Nursing Home Abuse Blog, sexual assault upon residents at nursing home facilities is all too common, and far too many cases go unreported.

In all likelihood, if one allegation is substantiated, there were probably many more incidents about which we may not be aware. Part of the problem is that nursing home administrators fail to report these incidents to the proper local authorities.

That’s what allegedly happened in a recent case in Volusia County, in which a nursing home administrator later admitted he should have contacted local police when a resident reported she’d witnessed her roommate being raped by an aide. The facility has been placed on the federal watch list, but as of yet, no criminal charges have been filed.

Sometimes, even proper background checks (which aren’t always conducted anyway) aren’t enough to stave off the threat. In Nebraska, a 44-year-old former volunteer fireman and EMT who was working as a nursing home aide was arrested for sexual assault on a victim who was physically or mentally incapable of resisting.

But it’s not always staffers or even fellow residents.

Recently in Ohio, a 42-year-old man was arrested in the sexual assault of a disabled 21-year-old woman at a nursing facility there. Police were able to match DNA taken during a sexual assault exam to a man who had been there visiting an elderly relative. A former complaint investigator for the state’s Department of Aging was quoted by a local news reporter as saying that sexual assaults in nursing homes involving visitors and even family members “happen more often than you think.”

In any case, nursing homes have a responsibility to protect their residents. There should never be an opportunity for something like this because patients should be properly supervised at all times. When facilities fail to do this, they need to be held accountable.

Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

Additional Resources:
Workers suspended in rape investigation all back on the job at Southgate nursing home, Oct. 12, 2012, By Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press

More Blog Entries:
Nursing Home Closes Amid Fatal Abuse Allegations, Oct. 1, 2012, Parkland Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Blog

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