AG Gansler Secures Conviction of Caregiver who Abused Vulnerable Adult
Victim suffered second-degree burn at group home near Randallstown
Baltimore, MD ( Sept. 25, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Olufunke Rachel Anifowose, 36, of Reisterstown has been found guilty of Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult in the Second Degree in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Judge Kathleen G. Cox sentenced the defendant to 18 months of incarceration, all of which was suspended. Anifowose was placed on 18 months' probation, during which time she is prohibited from supervising vulnerable adults.
"Abusive treatment of individuals, especially those who are vulnerable, is appalling and inexcusable," said Attorney General Gansler. "Family members shouldn't have to worry about abuse of their loved ones at the hands of those who are paid to care for them."
On February 6, 2011, Anifowose inflicted a burn by unknown means to the left side of the face of the victim while she was in bed at a residence for disabled adults operated by United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland near Randallstown. The victim, a then-64-year-old woman with physical and cognitive disabilities, suffered a second-degree burn to her cheek. When she was transported that afternoon to the home of her niece for a visit, the victim's niece saw the fresh injury to her aunt's face and took her for medical treatment.
Investigations by United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland, the Baltimore County Police Department and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Attorney General determined that the victim was in the home overnight solely in Anifowose's care. While the defendant repeatedly denied causing the injury, she admitted that she neglected her duties by sleeping through a large portion of her shift. Two other residents in the home at the time had very limited mobility and were confined to their own rooms when the injury occurred. Only the defendant had access to the victim during the overnight shift. Anifowose initially reported the injury to be a scratch, but medical personnel determined it to be a burn.
Speaking on behalf of the victim, who is non-verbal, her niece described in a victim impact statement how her aunt carries physical and emotional scars as a result of the abuse and still awakens in the middle of the night screaming.
Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Stephen Roscher, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigator Dean Brewer, the Baltimore County Police Department and the Maryland State Police for their work on this case.