Thirty-year-old Paul Scott was charged with sexual abuse in the first degree of a physically helpless person in the alleged sexual assault of a seventy-seven year-old female resident, who suffers from dementia. The alleged incident happened at Hawthorn Health Multicare Center and was reported by another employee.
Scott pleaded not guilty to the charges, posted $10,000 bail, and was released. He is due back in court on December 3, 2010. If convicted of the abuse charge, Scott faces up to seven years in prison.
Sexual abuse of nursing home residents is a growing problem. Family members should never assume their loved ones are immune to this type of assault. Every single one of the elderly residents I have represented who have been sexually assaulted in a nursing home never thought it would happen to them. It is a vile and cowardly crime. If your loved one is in a nursing home, you can make it less likely that they will be the victim of sexual abuse by following these simple steps:
- Visit regularly.
- Visit at different times – don’t let employees learn your schedule.
- Know the characteristics of other residents. If you believe your family member is at risk of assault by another resident, request that one be kept away from the other.
- Regularly check your loved one for bruises or soreness in the groin area. This is always uncomfortable, but it may prevent your loved one from being chronically abused.
- Ask the nursing home administrator if any residents or employees have been previously disciplined or had legal trouble related to sexually inappropriate behavior.
- Be vigilant. If you believe your loved one has been victimized, complain to the appropriate people and make sure a thorough investigation is completed.
If necessary, contact a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney and ask for advice. Missouri and Illinois nursing home attorney David Terry regularly represents family members whose loved ones have been neglected or abused in a nursing home. For a free consultation, call us at 1-888-317-2525.