Investigation Into Ohio Nursing Homes Shows 324 Complaints of Sexual Abuse
Numerous shocking cases of nursing home abuse and the conditions of Ohio nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been uncovered in 2013.
There have been over 324 complaints from 2010 issued to the Ohio Department of Health and Attorney General’s office dealing with sexual abuse in Ohio nursing homes alone. There have also been many other complaints of other forms of abuse. In June 2013, numerous complaints against a Zanesville, Ohio nursing home resulted in months-long investigation by the Attorney General’s office that resulted in the closure of the facility.
According to the complaints, many residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term residential care facilities are suffering from rape and other forms of sexual abuse at the hands of care workers. Complaints have come from across the state, including Cleveland, Lorain, and Akron. (May 2010, https://www.wkyc.com/news/article/135756/3/Investigator-Exclusive-Nursing-home-sex-abuse-unreported-unprosecuted)
Difficulties with Long-Term Care Sexual Abuse Cases
Attorney General Richard Cordray has stated that sexual abuse claims are hard to uncover, because many elderly patients cannot recall what happened in a concise and clear manner. Prosecutors on the county level have had similar difficulties and have only been able to make a few convictions based on sexual abuse claims. The unreliable nature of nursing home patients make it difficult to make convictions. If a staff member is not caught in the act, making a conviction is nearly impossible.
That is why current Ohio State Representatives have introduced House Bill 298, which would allow residents and concerned family members to place electronic monitoring devices in patients’ rooms to ensure the patients are receiving the care they need. The ability to capture abuse on tape would make convictions easier and nursing homes safer for all residents. (November 7, 2013 https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=ffa3438c-8189-4dd8-97f3-b006bbc5b7e1)
Recent years have uncovered numerous sexual abuse cases in Ohio nursing homes.
- In 2009, a man from Sandusky Ohio was convicted of sexually abusing several nursing home patients from the facility where he worked.
- In 2010, several convictions were made in Cleveland. A male housekeeper was convicted of sexually abusing several patients after investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.
Another Cleveland man was also convicted of attempted rape in 2010.
- In 2011, an aide from Yellow Springs, Ohio was caught sexually abusing a patient at the nursing home where he worked.
- In June 2013, an entire nursing home facility was closed in Zanesville, Ohio due to neglect and abuse.
These cases are just a few of the hundreds of complaints received by local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Office.
(2009 https://www.toledoblade.com/local/2009/01/17/Ohio-man-sentenced-in-nursing-home-sex-abuse.html) (July 2011, https://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/08/20/web-reports-detail-abuses-at-nursing-homesinohio.html) (June 2013, https://www.nbc4i.com/story/22522602/zanesville-nursing-home-accused-of-patient-neglect-license-revoked)
Current Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Laws
Currently, Ohio nursing homes are required to report any claims of sexual abuse to the Ohio state health department. The health department also inspects patient files annually to check for any reports of abuse that were not reported by the facility. However, if a facility does not document the accusation of sexual abuse, the abuse may go unnoticed.
Family members can watch for signs of sexual abuse in nursing home patients by watching for changes in behavior. If the resident reacts strongly to certain staff members at the facility, there could be a reason. Family members can ensure their loved ones are cared for properly by investigating all potential abuse and reporting it to local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Office.
If you have a loved one who is a victim of Ohio nursing home abuse or any other kind of elder abuse contact the Cochran Firm Ohio to speak with one of their experienced attorneys by visiting www.cochranohio.com or by calling 1-800-The-Firm for a one on one legal consultation.