In a disturbing story out of Syracuse, New York, a certified nurse aide has been formally accused of sexually abusing a physically disabled resident in a Utica nursing home. According to a report by one local news source, the state Attorney General has filed a nine-count indictment against a man who formerly worked at Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
Evidently, the man was charged with the following counts for alleged forcible sexual assault that took place on May 21 of this year:
- Three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree;
- Three counts of willful violation of health laws; and
- Three counts of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person in the second degree.
If the man is convicted at trial, he will face up to 21 years in prison.
Sexual Abuse in Maryland Nursing Homes
Hearing about a story like this makes us all feel uncomfortable. We hope that once we select a facility to care for our loved ones, we can trust that they will be provided with the care they need to live as good a life as possible.
However, the reality is that each year there are hundreds of reported instances of sexual abuse across the country. Expand that to any kind of physical abuse, and the number of reported instances grows into the thousands.
The reported instances, however, are not the end of the story. Many times, due to their vulnerabilities and lack of communication with the outside world, nursing home residents are unable to inform anyone of their abuse. In these tragic cases, the abuse can go on for months or even years before it is discovered.
The Duty of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are charged with the duty of caring for their residents. Not only does this mean providing the basic necessities for life, but it also means keeping resident free of harm that may be caused by poorly trained, malicious, or otherwise dangerous employees.
Nursing homes should conduct background checks on all their employees to ensure that they are hiring only the most professional, caring, and diligent employees. When a nursing home employee commits the types of acts described above, not only can the employee individually be held liable, but the nursing home that employs him or her may also be held responsible.
Do You Have a Loved One in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one at a Maryland nursing home, and you fear that he or she is being abused or taken advantage of, you should speak with a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney as soon as possible. Even if the conduct of the nursing home staff doesn’t rise to the level of abuse, nursing home negligence is also a serious matter than can give rise to a lawsuit in some situations. To learn more about the laws in Maryland that allow for the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect to recover for the injuries that have been inflicted upon them, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney today.
See More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Fire in Maine Forces Evacuation of 22 Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 8, 2014.
Nurse Arrested for the Abuse of a 92-Year-Old Nursing Home Patient, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 5, 2014.