Articles Posted in Sex offenders and parolees in nursing homes

sexual assault

Suit Filed Against State After Rape and Pregnancy of Incapacitated Woman

Lawyers for a young Arizona woman who was consistently raped and then impregnated by her nurse have filed a 54-page claim against the state seeking $45 million in damages. The 29-year-old woman was a patient and resident under the care of Hacienda Healthcare long-term care facility located in Phoenix. She has been nonverbal and intellectually disabled since the age of three after a drowning accident. Due to repeated sexual assault by a staff member, the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy in December of 2018.  Shockingly, the claim also says the woman could have been pregnant before.

Hacienda Healthcare did publicly apologize for the incident and has promised to follow more robust hiring and training practices. The Arizona Department of Health Services has not yet released a comment regarding the case. 

Genesis Healthcare, one of the largest nursing home groups in the country, is having a bad year.  This summer, the chain was ordered to pay $54 million to 5 whistleblowers who exposed fraudulent billing for keeping and treating patients who did not require hospice care.

Adding to the nursing home chain’s problems are criminal charges against a resident, with a concurrent civil case against the chain itself. In October of this year, 74 year old Francis Kinsey, a resident of Coventry Center Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Rhode Island, was arrested for sexually assaulting an 80 year old female resident. An employee witnessed the assault and immediately notified authorities. After the resident’s arrest, it was discovered that he had a 5 year old pending charge for sexual molestation and was currently out on bail. That case had not been furthered because his heath prevented further legal action. The family of the 80 year old resident who was sexually assaulted has sued Coventry Center and Genesis Healthcare, arguing that a resident with a pending criminal charges for a sexual offense should not be able to live freely alongside others, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

On November 16th, a Rhode Island judge declared Kinsey not fit to stand trial for the recent sexual assault. Mr. Kinsey’s health has now prevented him from facing charges on two sexual offenses for which he has been formally charged by police.

Last year, several nurses at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina walked in on nurse’s aide Douglas Steven Little sexually assaulting an elderly resident suffering from dementia. Little, a 10 year employee of Lake Park Nursing & Rehab, admitted to the assault and is now serving a 19 year prison sentence. After the news of Little’s crime broke, other Lake Park families began coming forward with similar allegations of rape and assault of their loved ones.

Repeat Offender

An affidavit by a former Lake Park Nursing & Rehab nurse states that in 2012, the facility was made aware of sexual assaults committed by Douglas Steven Little and covered them up from victim’s families. The affidavit was included as part of a lawsuit filed by the daughter of another alleged victim of Little’s. The woman’s daughter, Annette Foster, says her mother was a dementia resident who spent two years at Lake Park Nursing & Rehabilitation before her death. She says that after the news of Little broke, she began examining her mother’s medical records and coupled with the behaviors she observed in her mother before her death, she is certain that she was assaulted on multiple occasions and strongly believes it was by Douglas Steven Little. While her mother was still a patient, Foster knew something was amiss after her mother reported being raped on two separate occasions. She requested that only female staff members treat and visit with her mother and despite the request, she still saw Little wandering around the dementia unit.

It is a growing concern as the population of elderly prison inmates continues to rise: What happens to inmates who require more care than an infirmary at a standard correctional facility can give? The cost of treating inmates in prison, at specialized psychiatric facilities and at local hospitals is making the cost of long term care an expense that states are having a hard time managing. Federal funding is not given to prison inmates treated at any of these locations.

Enter facilities like 60 West, a combined nursing home and correctional facility in Rocky Hill, Connecticut that has become the first nursing home of its kind to be granted funding from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Several states hoping to receive federal funds for similar facilities are clearly pleased with the news and experts hope that the success of 60 West will spur other nursing homes to adopt the mentality that the elderly all deserve compassionate and federally-covered care, regardless of a prison record. Receiving federal funding for state-owned nursing homes would significantly ease the burden of covering long term care costs for prison inmates.

Previous Denial Due to Health and Safety Issues

We’d like to share insightful information from an April newsletter from the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) regarding 5 major reasons to oppose the Protecting Access to Care Act, better known as H.R. 1215. The bill, due to be voted on at any moment by the House, has a sweet-sounding name that overrides the detrimental aftermath that will result if the policy becomes law.

ITLA’s newsletter contains information shared by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and perfectly sums up why we as Americans should oppose the passage of a bill that will take away our civil rights.

Below are the top 5 reasons to oppose The Protecting Access to Care Act (H.R. 1215):

The daughters of a now deceased 95 year old woman filed a lawsuit against the state of Iowa and the nursing home of which she was a resident during a sexual assault committed by a fellow resident, a violent sex offender. A lower state court ruled that the state was not liable and the Iowa Supreme Court upheld that decision earlier this month. Despite the court’s ruling, the daughters of the victim are still pursuing the lawsuit with the nursing home now named as the sole defendant.

What is the State’s Duty to Society After Inmates are Released?

William Cubbage was convicted of four violent sex crimes against children between 1989 and 2000. He served time for his offenses and upon his release in 2002 was sent to a state-run institution that focused on rehabilitation of sex offenders. After 8 years he was released from state custody and admitted to Pomeroy Care Center, a private nursing home in Iowa. In less than a year at the center, a child visiting a family member saw Cubbage assaulting the woman. The victim’s daughters sued the nursing home and named the state of Iowa as a defendant, arguing that the state should not have allowed Mr. Cubbage, a man with an extremely violent past, to be admitted into a nursing home amongst vulnerable elderly residents. Attorneys for the state argued that once Cubbage’s prison sentence and court ordered rehabilitation was completed, they had no responsibility for him.

In a March report by 7 News in Boston, an investigative team found at least 12 serious sex offenders living alongside elderly residents in Massachusetts nursing homes. The team cross referenced the addresses of nursing homes in the state with the addresses of registered sex offenders and found two Level 2 Offenders and ten Level 3 Offenders. Level 3 offenders are considered the worst kind in the state of Massachusetts.

In 2005, a registered child sex offender, John Enos, was living in a nursing home in Massachusetts, assumed to be harmless because his crimes were all committed in the 1980s against children. Enos raped his 90 year old roommate, a World War II veteran who never knew that the man living beside him was a sex offender. Although his roommate was unaware, nursing home administrators did know of Enos’ past offenses. 2 years after the crime, Massachusetts attempted to pass a law that denied nursing home residency to anyone convicted of being a Level 3 offender. The Supreme Court in that state overturned the law, saying it was unconstitutional. Massachusetts does not require background checks for residents of nursing homes and they are not required to post or make known the criminal past of any of its residents if such information is made available to them.

Illinois Nursing Home Legislation

The perpetrator of a sexual assault at a nursing home was recently sentenced to jail time following a criminal trial for his conduct. Detroit News reported on the incident involving a 52-year old former nursing home employee at the MediLodge Nursing Home.

According to reports the former janitor pulled his pants down in front of an 84-year old Alzheimer’s patient in a wheelchair. Another nursing home employee saw the incident. Fortunately the co-worker contacted authorities, even though the janitor begged his co-worker not to tell anyone about the event. Later, the employee admitted that he forced the resident to inappropriately touch him. He had abused at least two other residents in a similar manner.

The sentencing judge explained that “this was a very disturbing crime.” The aggressor will have to serve four months in jail and will be on probation three years following his release. In addition he will have to pay the victims fees, court costs, and undergo sex offender treatment.

Unfortunately, shocking sexual abuse, like the incident here, occurs at nursing homes across the country. In many cases, the predators are not reported and more seniors are forced to live through the abuse silently. It is an continuing problem that is in dire need of solutions.
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According to a report on , one Missouri nursing home admits sex offenders but does not inform the families of the other elderly residents who reside there. There are currently 18 registered sex offenders that live at the nursing home, with sex offenses ranging from child molestation to rape. The owner notes that elderly residents are separated from the sex offenders and that staff is also trained on how to deal with those patients who have psychiatric issues and therefore management does not view this as a security threat. According to the report, there is no legal responsibility of the nursing home management to inform other residents and their families about the background of their residents, so the nursing home does not feel the need to disclose the information.

Sexual abuse in nursing homes is an important issue to address in Illinois nursing homes. Family members want to feel secure when placing a loved one in a nursing home. Elderly nursing home residents are targets of sexual predators because they are often weak and defenseless. They might have dementia or might not be able to speak to report the assault. All nursing home residents are protected from abuse and neglect under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and homes have a duty to protect residents from predators. Many times, cases of sexual abuse fall at the hands of other residents, who are able to bypass security measures. In other instances, staff members are to blame. Nursing homes must operate with sufficient staff in order to properly monitor sexual offenders and elderly residents. Nursing homes must also investigate and report sexual abuse when it occurs. When a nursing home fails to protect the residents under its care and they are injured or killed, ownership and staff must be held responsible for their negligence. To learn more about the Illinois laws that protect nursing home residents from abuse and neglect, follow the link. is reporting that a fourth lawsuit has been filed against LaSalle County Nursing Home for nursing home abuse. The nursing home sexual abuse lawsuit was brought on behalf of a 90-year-old former resident of the home and claims that she was sexually assaulted by a male resident at the facility. The suit claims that not only did this man sexually assault about a dozen residents; he also had a history of such abuse. The Illinois nursing home lawsuit is asking for $50,000 in damages for the nursing home abuse because the facility failed to protect the resident from the physical, mental and physiological injuries that she endured.

The nursing home lawsuit also states that the staff members at LaSalle County Nursing Home did nothing to protect the woman from the sexual abuse at the hands of her fellow resident. Recently, three top administrators at the nursing home have resigned and the suspect has been moved to a psychiatric facility. The Illinois nursing home has also been fined for their inaction. To read more about this nursing home lawsuit, please click the link.

This is a perfect example of how a lack of nursing home staffing can make it hard for direct care workers to provide both supervision and attention to each individual resident. Countless studies have shown that a lack in supervision can lead to serious problems with nursing home residents. These problems include injuries from falls, resident elopement and medication errors. Also, as seen in recent Illinois nursing homes, a lack of sufficient staff can lead to physical and sexual abuse amongst residents.

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