AG Gansler: Baltimore County Caregiver Found Guilty of Abuse
Jury returns verdict against residential counselor for assault on a vulnerable adult living in a group home
Baltimore, MD ( May 24, 2013) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Solomon Oscar Ankrah, 32, of Baltimore, was found guilty of one count of assault in the second degree and one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult in the second degree following a two-day jury trial in Baltimore County Circuit Court. Assault in the second degree carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Abuse of a vulnerable adult in the second degree carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Judge Jan Marshall Alexander scheduled sentencing for Tuesday, June 18.
"Vulnerable Marylanders who depend on the care of others have a right to expect competent, professional service," said Attorney General Gansler. "Maryland families need to know that this office stands with local law enforcement to help protect those who need care and assistance from abuse."
Evidence presented at trial showed that the 28 year-old male victim was a resident of a group home on Greenspring Valley Road in Owings Mills and operated by Living Sans Frontieres, Inc., an agency that offers residential services for disabled adults. On October 22, 2012 the victim was physically assaulted by the defendant, who at the time was working as a residential counselor. The victim is classified as a vulnerable adult, defined by Maryland as one who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for his daily needs.
The victim testified that Ankrah had angrily demanded that the victim clean his room. At the time, Ankrah was so physically close to him that the victim motioned for the caregiver to back off. The victim testified that Ankrah then attacked him, hitting him in the eye with a cable cord, lacerating the area above his left eye; a cut that required seven stitches to close. In addition to lacerations on his face and neck, the victim also suffered a fracture of the orbital area below the eye that required surgery. Ankrah, a citizen of Ghana, had been working for the agency under a false name, Ali Aminu, and testified that he did so because his visa was no longer in effect.
In making the announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Stephen Roscher, investigator Dean Brewer with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work on the case.