For more information or confidential
assistance, talk to an attorney today:
Call 1.800.469.7429
Se habla español!

Report Cites Multiple Cases of Rape, Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

nursing home residentA new investigation by news organization CNN reveals that U.S. nursing homes can all too easily be sites of rape and sexual abuse against patients by the very people charged with providing their care.

The report, “Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes,” focuses on the case of George Kpingbah, a Minnesota nursing home aide who committed multiple sexual offenses over a period of at least six years. Despite the repeated crimes against a vulnerable population, he was brought to justice only when the rape of an 83-year-old patient was directly witnessed by another nursing home employee.

Police, nursing homes slow to investigate evidence of abuse

The CNN reports also shines an important light on the multiple issues present in nursing home abuse nationwide.

First, nursing homes don’t always report or investigate allegations or evidence of abuse. They may not believe the allegations. Or, they may be trying to protect the reputation of the nursing home.

Second, police are also slow and sometimes reluctant to investigate. Many senior residents of nursing homes exhibit memory loss or cannot adequately recall — and adequately repeat without changing — a sequence of events. A less-than-cohesive narrative alleging rape or abuse may not elicit police belief.

Third, to successfully make a charge of rape or abuse, there must be evidence. If activities, injuries or fluids are not witnessed, captured, or documented, there may be little chance of successful prosecution and redress. Kpingbah was only suspected and charged because of a witness.

Fourth, employees who abuse nursing home residents are often free to simply move to the next position. There is no central place for flagging suspicious or accusations.

Fifth, there is no national database for reporting elder abuse.

Sixth, and perhaps most heart-breaking, the elderly themselves are often ashamed and reluctant to report abuse.

The law and your loved ones

If you suspect that your loved one has suffered rape or sexual assault in a nursing home, you have multiple recourse. Depending on the nature of the injury, the perpetrator may be charged with rape, sexual assault, or elder abuse. A perpetrator can also be charged with personal injury or wrongful death.

If nursing homes had knowledge of the abuse and failed to prevent it, they too can be charged with crimes including personal injury or wrongful death.

If you or a loved one has suffered harm

If you or a loved one in Long Island or New York City have suffered harm because of any type of elder abuse, please contact us immediately to discuss possible legal recourse and redress.

Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are leading personal injury lawyers in New York City and Long Island. We will fight for those harmed at the hands of negligent healthcare professionals.

Call Edelman, Krasin & Jaye for a confidential, complimentary consultation. We are experts who will provide you with options.

Additional nursing home abuse resources

  1. Elder Abuse. Healthy Aging. Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Womenshealth.gov. https://www.womenshealth.gov/aging/safety-abuse/elder-abuse.html
  2. Ellis, Blake and Melanie Hicken. “Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes.” CNN. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/02/health/nursing-home-sex-abuse-investigation/