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For Immediate Release
December 15, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

FREDERICK COUNTY CAREGIVER SENTENCED FOR ABUSING VULNERABLE ADULT

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Meaghan Weissfuss , a caregiver at North Hampton Manor Nursing Home in Frederick County was sentenced in the District Court for Frederick County. In September, 2005, Ms. Weissfuss had pled guilty to one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult in the second degree. Judge Janice Ambrose sentenced Weissfuss to probation before judgment. The judge also required Weissfuss to have no contact with or enter any nursing home for the three year period of her probation. In addition, Weissfuss is required to attend and successfully complete anger management treatment and cannot care for the elderly in any way during her probation, and perform 100 hours of community service over the next 30 months.

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 to striking the victim and using excessive force.

This case was 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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