UKIAH – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the arrests of six nursing home employees who physically abused elderly residents by coating them in an ointment cream to play a “cruel and shocking prank” against their co-workers.
The former Valley View Skilled Nursing Facility employees applied the ointment cream to seven elderly residents, head to foot, to make them “slippery” for employees working the next shift. All of the abused patients suffered from dementia and were unable to object to their treatment. Upon discovery of the incident, the six individuals were fired.
“As part of a cruel and shocking prank, these caregivers abused defenseless elders,” Brown said. “This is despicable behavior by people placed in a position of trust.”
Jenny Bido, 26, Christina Guerrero (aka Boyd), 30, Jared Buckley, 29, Jennifer Burton, 33, Kathleen Phillips, 23, and Monica Smith, 51, are being charged with one misdemeanor count each of injury to elder or dependent adult; battery committed on elder or a dependent adult; conspiracy; and battery committed while on hospital property. Bail has been set for each individual at $7,500.
After an investigation by agents from Brown’s Bureau of Elder Abuse, the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal complaints last week against the six individuals.
“Mendocino County is home to a growing elder population,” said District Attorney Meredith J. Lintott. “We’re committed to keeping that population safe and to prosecuting those who take advantage of our elders.”
Brown’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse protects patients from physical and financial abuse and neglect in homecare, as well as in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The bureau also investigates and prosecutes nursing home operators and health care providers who cheat taxpayers out of millions of dollars each year and divert scarce health care resources from the needy.
Last year, the bureau secured convictions in 49 criminal cases of elder abuse, with penalties, fines and restitution orders totaling nearly $500,000.
To report cases of elder abuse, contact the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse toll-free hotline at 1-800-722-0432 or visit: http//ag.ca.gov/bmfea/reporting.php.