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When Nursing Home Sexual Abuse is Committed by Another Resident

Posted on in Sexual Abuse

Illinois nursing home abuse attorneysAround the beginning of 2019, various news outlets reported on the horrific story out of Phoenix, Arizona, where a disabled nursing home patient had surprisingly given birth. The woman was allegedly raped by a licensed practical nurse who worked at the facility. The former nurse pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult, and he is currently awaiting trial.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse is not terribly uncommon in nursing homes around the United States. However, the perpetrators are not always employees or staff members. In some cases, residents have been sexually assaulted and abused by other residents of the home. When sexual assault is committed by another resident, criminal charges are possible, and the victim could seek compensation from the home itself for negligent supervision.

Florida Nursing Home Patient Arrested and Charged

According to a report by Florida Today, a female resident of a Palm Bay nursing facility was sexually assaulted by another resident in September. The woman was allegedly sleeping when she woke to find a 65-year-old male resident touching her inappropriately. She reportedly pulled the cord near her bed to let the home’s staff know that she needed help. When staff members entered the room, the man was still in the room and groping the female patient, arrest records indicate.

The woman reportedly has full mental faculties but she cannot speak out loud. When the man was taken into police custody, he allegedly admitted to police that he knew about the woman’s inability to communicate verbally. “She can’t call for help,” he reportedly said. The man was arrested and charged lewd and lascivious molestation of an elderly or disabled adult.

What Are the Facility’s Responsibilities?

It is not yet clear whether the woman intends to file any type of action against the nursing home. It could be possible, however, for a sexual assault victim to recover compensation from the facility if the facility was found to be negligent.

A skilled nursing facility has a duty to keep its residents safe from reasonably foreseeable dangers. Of course, what constitutes a “reasonably foreseeable danger” is very subjective. For example, if the alleged perpetrator has never shown inclinations toward inappropriate behavior, and the nursing staff conducted regular safety checks on all residents, it might be difficult to prove that the facility was negligent—assuming the incident was isolated. If, however, the alleged perpetrator had been found in other residents’ rooms before, but the home took no additional precautions to prevent future problems, it is more likely that the facility would be found negligent.

Call a Chicago Nursing Home Injury Attorney

Cases of sexual assault and sexual abuse by other residents can be extremely complex. If your loved one was a victim of any type of sexual misconduct while residing in a nursing home, contact an experienced Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer for guidance. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation at Schwartz Injury Law today.

 

Sources:

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2019/07/16/no-hacienda-sex-abuse-trial-until-least-2020-nathan-sutherland/1743189001/

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/crime/2019/11/26/nursing-home-patient-charged-sexual-assault-another-patient/4312365002/

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