AG Gansler: Caregiver Convicted of Assaulting a Vulnerable Adult
Baltimore Co. man struck, scolded victim at doctor's office
Baltimore, MD (February 25, 2014) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Ronald G. Barnes, 54, was convicted of Assault in the Second Degree following a two-day jury trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Barnes, of Lochearn, was employed as a driver/medical runner for L.I.F.E., Inc., a not-for-profit agency that provides residential, employment and day services to individuals with disabilities.
"Abusing any other person is an intolerable act, made that much more heinous when the victim is vulnerable and unable to defend himself as in this case," said Attorney General Gansler. "We should all be thankful that eyewitnesses reported this assault and enabled justice to be served."
The conviction stems from an incident that occurred on December 6, 2012, when Barnes transported a 63-year-old vulnerable adult to receive treatment at an Owings Mills medical office. While Barnes accompanied the victim in the waiting room, several members of the office staff observed Barnes speaking harshly to the disabled victim, handling him in a physically rough manner and at times striking the victim on the arms and on the head. Although the victim sustained no visible injury as a result of Barnes' actions, the rough treatment was significant enough that employees of the medical office made a formal complaint to L.I.F.E., Inc. Further investigation was done by the Baltimore County Police Department and the Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Assault in the Second Degree carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 12 before Judge Nancy M. Purpura in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.