While sexual assault has always been a concern among those who have family members living in Maryland nursing homes, given the recent headlines those concerns have come to the forefront. Back in December of last year, a 29-year-old resident in a long-term care facility gave birth to a baby boy. The woman had been incapacitated and in long-term care since she was three years old.
According to a recent news report, police have arrested a man they believe raped the woman. After the resident gave birth, police obtained a DNA sample from the baby. Police then obtained DNA samples from each of the nurses at the care facility where the resident was staying. Evidently, the DNA taken from the baby matched one of the nurses who was charged with overseeing the resident. The nurse had been working at the facility since 2011, and there is no indication at this point that there had been any previous complaints or similar incidents. Of course, given the compromised condition of the residents in the facility, it is likely that other incidents would not necessarily be reported.
Signs of Sexual Assault
Certainly, this news comes as a shock to many. However, sexual abuse is not uncommon in nursing homes and skilled care facilities. One reason for this is the compromised condition of the residents make them ideal victims for predators. In addition, many nursing home residents have little contact with those outside of the facility, and fear that they may not be believed if they did make a report.
Of course, a resident’s disclosure of sexual abuse should be taken seriously and reported to the police. However, not all residents are able to communicate with loved ones effectively. Thus, those with families in Maryland nursing homes should keep an eye out for the following signs of sexual abuse:
- a sudden difficulty sitting or walking;
- extreme agitation;
- withdrawal from social interactions that the resident would normally enjoy;
- panic attacks or other signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;
- unexplained bleeding;
- bruises around a resident’s genitals or inner thighs;
- unexplained diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease.
Anyone who believes that their loved one has been the victim of sexual assault in a Maryland nursing home should consult with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney to discuss their options.
Is Your Loved One at Risk?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and believe that they may have been subject to abuse or neglect, contact the Maryland nursing home lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we help nursing home residents and their families hold their abusers accountable. Our firm has over 20 years of experience representing clients across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To learn more about how we can help you recover for your injuries, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Sexual Assault in Maryland Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 15, 2019.
Important Arbitration Opinion May Impact the Rights of Maryland Nursing Home Residents and Their Families, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 22, 2019.