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


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

LAUREL CAREGIVER CHARGED WITH ABUSE OF DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED MAN

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a day care counselor, Gbengo Benson Ogundele, was charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult and second degree assault for allegedly punching a 28-year-old developmentally disabled man in the face. Ogundele, 43, of the 800 block of Fairlawn Avenue in Laurel, was assigned to care for a group of developmentally disabled individuals.

According to the application for statement of charges, on June 28, 2001, Ogundele was a caregiver at CHI Day Care Center in Prince George's County. At the time of the alleged assault, 15 program participants were about to start an exercise class when the victim spit at the defendant. Ogundele said "If you spit at me again I will hit you." The defendant then pulled back his right arm, made a fist and punched the vulnerable adult victim in the face. The victim was taken to the hospital for evaluation, though not treatment was necessary.

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 and neglect of vulnerable adults in Medicaid funded facilities.

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