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For Immediate Release
September 13, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

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 excessive force.

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.

 

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