In truly disturbing news out of Ohio earlier this week, a Maryland man was convicted of abusing a patient after having unwanted sexual contact with a pregnant patient. He plead guilty to the charge and is now serving his sentence of 11 to 60 days in jail and 2 years of probation. He will also be forced to register as a sex offender for 15 years. According to a report by the Baltimore Sun, the man was a nurse in Ohio but was found and arrested in Maryland. He is serving time in an Ohio jail for the offense.
The man had a record of assaulting patients in Ohio. Back in 2012, at Fairview Hospital in Cleveland, he was accused of touching the breast of a woman during her delivery. He also forced her to touch his penis over his pants.
In the most recent case, the man initially plead not guilty to more serious charges, but accepted a plea bargain. He does not have any patient complaints, nor a criminal record, here in Maryland. It is unclear if the man was working as a nurse after the incident but before his arrest.
Sexual Abuse in Maryland Nursing Homes
The above story took place in a hospital while a woman was giving birth. However, those who engage in this kind of conduct do not stop outside the bounds of a hospital. Sexual abuse is not uncommon in Maryland nursing homes due to the vulnerability of the population and the amount of one-on-one time nurses have with patients.
To compound the matter, residents in Maryland nursing homes seldom have frequent contact with the outside world and often feel ashamed or embarrassed about what they have experienced, making discovering nursing home sexual abuse even harder. However, when it is discovered, it is taken very seriously by both Maryland civil and criminal courts.
Victims of nursing home abuse are entitled to recover for their injuries, both physical and psychological, through the Maryland civil justice system. In many cases, the nurse may be prosecuted by the State of Maryland in a criminal action. If this is the case, civil plaintiffs can often benefit from the evidence gathered and submitted in the criminal trial, if the defendant is convicted, by referring to the criminal conviction in the civil suit. Thus, the jury may hear that the defendant was convicted in a criminal trial for the very same conduct.
Do You Have Relative in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and you are afraid that they may be the victim of physical or sexual abuse, you should immediately act to get them out of the situation. Once you ensure that they are safe, consider speaking to an experienced Maryland nursing home attorney to find out if your loved one is eligible for monetary damages. To find out more about the laws of Maryland as they relate to nursing home abuse, contact an experienced Maryland nursing home attorney today to schedule your free initial consultation. Click here, or call 410-654-3600.
See More Blog Posts:
Recent Study Finds that 22% of Nursing Home Residents Suffer Preventable Injuries, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 18, 2014.
Nursing Home Fire Sends Two to the Hospital, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 25, 2014.