Male Nursing Aide Arrested for Videotaping Alleged Abuse of Elderly Patients

A man has been charged with felony caretaker abuse in connection with the alleged mistreatment of nursing home residents. Bail was set at $100,000 for the 31-year-old nursing aide. He was charged Thursday with two felony counts of caretaker abuse and one misdemeanor charge of verbal abuse, all stemming from care provided in his job as a certified nursing assistant at the 92-bed nursing home (which is in the process of shutting down). Its residents are being transferred to other facilities.

The wife of a resident complained to police Feb. 28 that she found a scratch on her husband. According to a court affidavit, the elderly male victim repeatedly complained that the accused aide stripped off his clothes and touched him inappropriately, spit in his face and threatened to hurt him.

The victim's family members told authorities he had complained for weeks about being abused by a nursing aide, but they initially thought the complaints were a result of dementia. The family re-evaluated when the scratch was discovered, the affidavit stated.

Upon further investigation, police learned that situations involving three patients at the nursing facility were videotaped on the aide's cell phone and had been seen by several witnesses before they were erased.

The videotapes showed the aide yelling at one elderly patient and violently jerking the shirt of another, the affidavit stated. The charges
against Pearl are based on victim testimony, as well as the testimony of witnesses who saw the cell-phone videos.

Staff members who were interviewed by police said most patients are in such condition that they wouldn't be capable of reporting any abuse, the affidavit stated.

The family of the man who had been scratched reportedly said he had difficulty sleeping, was hard to calm down and had been fearful for his wife's safety at their home. For more, read the story.

This situation is a terrible tragedy for the victims and families of the victims. When someone makes the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they should be able to trust that the persons entrusted with their care will not intentionally abuse them. Many residents are not capable of reporting abuse but still would be traumatized by it. It is important to investigate any and all signs of abuse and neglect.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 

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