Last month in the Bronx, New York City, a male nurse was arrested for raping a 64-year-old female patient. According to a story by Gothamist.com, an employee at the nursing home spotted the nurse of top of a disabled 64-year-old patient around 1:20 a.m. The victim of the rape has dementia and is unable to speak. Her children told reporters:
It’s just heartbreaking, it’s horrible that this is happening to my mother… She was at the nursing home because my brother and I thought it was a safe haven for her, a safe place for her…
The victim’s family was contacted around 4 o’clock that morning, too their mother to a nearby hospital to have a rape examination kit completed. However, because the victim was unable to speak, hospital workers had a difficult time completing the kit, which must be completed within 72 hours in order to be of any evidentiary value.
In response, one state senator commented, “As the Ranking Member of the New York State Senate Committee on the Aging, it saddens me to learn that another senior citizen has been abused – this time, assaulted and raped – in a nursing home where the elderly are supposed to be protected.”
The man who allegedly perpetrated the horrible act has been charged with rape and will likely face both civil and criminal charges.
Nursing Home Abuse in Maryland
The horrific story described above is just one example of elder abuse that can occur in Maryland nursing homes. In addition to sexual assault and rape, the following are all kinds of abuse that older people may face when placed in an unsatisfactory nursing home:
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
Penalties for Elder Abuse in Maryland
In Maryland, elder abuse is taken extremely seriously. In fact, there is a specific elder abuse law that has been enacted to deal with the problem of elder abuse and neglect. Specifically, a caregiver may not abuse or neglect a patient in their care that
- results in the death of the vulnerable adult;
- causes serious physical injury to the vulnerable adult; or
- involves sexual abuse of the vulnerable adult.
Anyone convicted of this crime can face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 in addition to any other crime that they may be charged with.
Civil Penalties for Elder Neglect and Abuse
In addition to the criminal penalties for elder abuse or neglect, Maryland allows victims (or their families, in certain situations) to recover damages from the person conducting the abuse or responsible for the negligent care.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Elder Abuse or Neglect at a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you believe that your loved one is suffering from elder abuse, the first thing to do is make sure that they are removed from any dangerous situation they may be in. Once you know that they are safe, contact an experienced Maryland nursing home abuse attorney to discuss the facts of your case. It may be that you or your loved one are entitled to monetary damages. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 today to schedule your free initial consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
University of Maryland Study Shows Correlation Between Patient Turnover and Poor Nursing Home Quality, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 17, 2014.
Indiana Nurse Prosecuted for Death of Elderly Nursing Home Resident , Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 10, 2014.