County Nursing Assistant Sentenced for Abuse of a Vulnerable
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.