September 13, 2005
CAREGIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO ABUSE OF VULNERABLE ADULT
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Meaghan
Weissfuss, a caregiver at North Hampton Manor Nursing Home in Frederick
County pled guilty to one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult
in the second degree in the District Court for Frederick County.
Judge Janice Ambrose set sentencing for November 8, 2005.
Weissfuss, 18, of the 11000 block of North Street in Frederick
City, was a Certified Nursing Assistant. According to the Statement
of Facts, on January 28, 2005, Weissfuss was one of two caregivers
for Charles G., an 84-year-old, developmentally disabled male,
who suffers from osteoporosis, anemia, depression, and degenerative
arthritis. Near the end of her shift, Weissfuss and another Certified
Nursing Assistant, entered the room of the resident at which
time Weissfuss and another caregiver began to shave Charles’s
face. The victim became agitated and began swinging his arms. In
an attempt to calm him, Weissfuss held his right arm down, between
his body and the arm of his wheel chair. He continued to grow agitated.
Weissfuss became angered by his actions and slapped the victim
on the back of the head, at the base of the neck, with an open
hand. Then, while transferring him from his wheelchair to the bed,
she pushed him away and let him drop to the bed, instead of assisting
him to a seated position. As a result, Charles’ face struck
the guardrail. The victim had undergone dental surgery three
days earlier. Weissfuss admitted striking the victim and using
Weissfuss faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail
and a fine of $5,000, or both.
This case is being prosecuted by Attorney General Curran’s
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which has jurisdiction to investigate
and prosecute abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults in facilities
that receive Medicaid funds.