Des Moines, IA- When people place their elderly or disabled family members in a nursing home they have a reasonable expectation that they will protected from all sexual and physical abuse. One of the primary tasks of long-term care facility administrator is to make certain residents are protected from neglect and abuse but too often that isn’t the case and they are sometimes complicit in allowing inappropriate behavior to occur.
That is what happened at a Des Moines nursing home when an administrator concealed the fact that she had two sex offenders living in her facility and a patient was sexually abused.
Susan Juilfs an administrator for the Pomeroy Care Center between has 1983 and 2011 has been fined for not protecting residents from sexual abuse by a resident who was a known sex offender. The Iowa Board of Nursing Home Administrators fined Juilifs $500 and said she was guilty of professional incompetence, USA Today reported.
Juilif’s is accused of putting her residents in danger by exposing them to two know sex offenders. One the men, William Cubbage, allegedly sexually assaulted a 95 year-old female resident while she was in bed.
Before coming to the Pomeroy Care Center, Cubbage lived in the Iowa Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders after he was convicted in four different cases involving lascivious acts with the child, indecent contact with a child, and assault with the intent to sexually assault.
The home was made aware of the abuse when a young girl who was visiting the home in 2011 saw Cubbage touching the woman while she was yelling, “No, no, no!” USA Today reported.
The woman’s family filed a lawsuit against the Pomeroy, for failing to protect her form abuse. With the assistance of a nursing home abuse attorney they woman’s family is also suing the Iowa Department of Human Resources for failing to come up with an actionable plan that would ensure that Cubbage was constantly monitored while in residence at the home.
According the board, Juilif’s knew that two patients, William Cubbage and John Steinkamp were sex offenders, and forbid nursing home staff from telling anyone that they were living there.
The Iowa Board of Nursing Home Administrators also fined the Pomeroy facility for $10,000.
This case has compelled the Iowa Legislature to create a bill that would develop a committee of nursing home residents, elder advocates, state regulators, and Iowa state court representatives to find alternatives to placing aging sex offenders and violent offenders in traditional facilities.
Gov. Terry Branstad, however, vetoed the bill, choosing instead to allow a four agency panel to come up with alternatives to keep residents safe from sex offenders and violent criminals.
Nursing homes are not required to tell residents or families that there are convicted sex offenders living in a facility, but had staff members or residents had that information they could have better protected the residents or themselves from sexual abuse.