NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


January 30, 2002 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

HARFORD NURSING ASSISTANT CHARGED WITH ABUSE OF A 76-YEAR-OLD NURSING HOME RESIDENT

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a nursing assistant, Luzviminda "Mindy" Malacas, 52, of the 200 block of Spencer Circle in Forest Hill, was charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult and second degree assault for allegedly assaulting a 76-year-old nursing home resident.

According to the statement of charges, on August 23, 2001, Malacas was employed as a nursing assistant at Mariner Health of Bel Air Nursing Home and was assigned to care for the 76-year-old vulnerable adult victim. The victim has Alzheimers and Dementia, suffers from cardiac heart disease and is unable to verbally communicate, needing assistance with all of his activities of daily living. While Malacas was feeding the vulnerable adult victim, Malacas tried to force him to drink his pureed dinner by forcefully pushing his head back with her hand. The drink mixture ran down the victim's mouth and neck. When he tried to wipe his neck with his hand, Malacas yelled at the victim to "stop acting like a two-year-old." She then slapped the victim's hand repeatedly, forcibly grabbed the victim's hands by both of his wrists and tightly held his hands in his lap, repeatedly yelling at him to "act like a gentleman and not a two year old." She then pushed his head back with her hand, attempting again to try to force him to drink the food mixture.

Abuse of a vulnerable adult is a misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. Second degree assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine. An application for statement of charges is an accusation, and all persons are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which has authority to prosecute abuse or neglect in facilities that receive Medicaid funds.

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