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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357

Washington County Nursing Assistant Sentenced for Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult

BALTIMORE, MD ( June 29, 2010) -Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Joseph Paul Dunsworth, 34, of Hagerstown, pled guilty to second degree Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult for stealing a Fentanyl patch from a 94 year old nursing home resident. Washington County Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Beachley sentenced Dunsworth to three years incarceration, all suspended, and three years supervised probation. Judge Beachley ordered that as a condition of his probation, Dunsworth must abstain from employment in any health care facility, abstain from alcohol and drug use, and submit to mental health and substance abuse evaluations, including compliance with recommendations resulting from those evaluations.

Dunsworth was employed as a nursing assistant at Fahrney Keedy Home and Village, a nursing home located in Washington County. In January 2010, a medication nurse discovered that a Fentanyl patch she had placed on a resident hours before was missing. The resident appeared agitated and in pain. An investigation followed, including review of a facility videotape that recorded Dunsworth entering the resident’s room. Dunsworth was not assigned to care for the resident. The video also showed Dunsworth entering a bathroom immediately after exiting the resident’s room. Dunsworth subsequently admitted taking the patch from the resident and consuming the patch in the bathroom. Fentanyl is a narcotic opioid medication used for pain control.

The case was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and was referred by Fahrney Keedy Home and Village. The Attorney General’s Office and MFCU acknowledge and appreciate the assistance of the Maryland State Police. In making today’s announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Amanda Scott for her work on the case.



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