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For Immediate Release
July 22, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

NURSING ASSISTANT GUILTY OF STRIKING 84-YEAR-OLD DEMENTIA PATIENT

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a nursing assistant, Sue Allen Head, 34, of Ortanna, Pennsylvania, pled guilty to abusing a vulnerable adult for striking an 84-year-old nursing home resident. Carroll County District Court Judge Marc Rasinsky sentenced Head to six months in jail, all suspended, and placed her on 18 months probation. As conditions of her probation, Head is to perform 100 hours of community service and must stay out of the health care field for three years.

On October 31, 2002, Head was employed as a nursing assistant at Longview Nursing Home on Main Street in Manchester, and was assigned to care for a 84 year-old vulnerable adult who is not able to communicate and suffers from a number of medical problems including end-stage dementia. As a result of her condition, the victim requires assistance with all of her activities of daily living. While Head was supposed to be assisting the victim, Head instead began struggling with her, and then struck the nursing home resident with sufficient force that the striking could be heard across the room by an eyewitness, leaving a mark on the victim.

"Regardless of the degree of severity, these kinds of incidents should not and will not be tolerated," Attorney General Curran said. "Therefore, my Office will continue to investigate and prosecute people like Sue Allen Head, whose job it is to provide care, not abuse."

This case was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Maryland’s Attorney General’s Office. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has jurisdiction to prosecute the abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults in Medicaid funded facilities.

Maryland’s Attorney General, J. Joseph Curran, Jr., in partnership with AARP Maryland and Frederick Community College & Institute for Learning in Retirement, will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 at Frederick Community College.

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