A Cypress nursing assistant is on trial for allegedly molesting two patients at the Anaheim Terrace Care Center. Alejandro Arias is accused of purposely targeting women who would not be able to combat his advances.
The alleged Anaheim nursing home abuse is said to have occurred in 2008 when both patients were recovering from surgery. The prosecution says that the 39-year-old nursing assisted told police that he had sexual contact with the 60-year-old woman and that he molested the 50-year-old woman several times. Meantime, Aria's defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Mary Kreber, told the jury that he never sexually assaulted anyone and that the he had been involved with one of the alleged victims.
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Unfortunately, sexual abuse is one of the more common types of Orange County, California nursing home negligence. The reasons for this is that many patients are old, frail, weak, or mentally incapacitated and unable to combat the assault or, in some cases, even report that anything has happened.
The type of physical contact that nursing home workers tend to have with patient makes it easy for Anaheim nursing home sexual abuse to happen. Nurses are usually the ones to clothe a patient or dress/treat a patient's injuries, so there is already a lot of touching that goes on. Nursing home workers are also allowed to be alone with residents and have easy access to patients' rooms and bathrooms. This caregiver-type relationship makes it easy for Orange County sexual abuse, including molestation and assault, to happen.
Also, sexual abuse doesn't just involve physical contact. Forcing a patient to go nude, taking pornographic pictures of the resident, and sexual harassment are other examples of nursing home sex abuse.
"Sexual abuse can leave damaging physical and emotional injuries, which can take a toll on a patient's already compromised health," said Anaheim nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer Vincent Howard.
It is the responsibility of Southern California nursing homes and assisted living facilities to make sure that the staff members they hire pass criminal background checks and are experienced and trained in working with patients and the type of health issues they might have. "Care facility owners must always adequately supervise their employees and the care and other activities that go on to ensure that no type of nursing home abuse or neglect is happening," said Orange County, CA Injury Attorney Howard.
Nursing home residents can also fall prey to sexual abuse by other residents or a visitor or some other stranger to the care facility. It is the nursing center's responsibility to make sure that clear living boundaries are set in co-ed settings and that the patients, like residents at any facility, are provided with adequate protections and securities so that sexual assault or molestation cannot happen. Surveillance cameras, secured entrances and exists, making sure strangers can't easily enter the premises or the building, and sufficient lighting can all help create a safer environment for patients.
Anaheim personal injury attorney Vincent Howard and his law firm Howard Law, PC represents victims and their families with Orange County, California nursing home abuse lawsuits against negligent care facilities and/or employees. Your first case evaluation is free.
Jury gets case of nurse assistant accused of molestation, OC Register, July 18, 2012
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