AG Gansler: Caregiver Sentenced for Assaulting Vulnerable Adult
Baltimore County man struck, scolded victim at doctor's office
Baltimore, MD (March 24, 2014) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Ronald G. Barnes, 54, of Lochearn, was sentenced following his conviction in February of second degree assault. Barnes 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.
"Although the victim showed no permanent signs of injury, that does not excuse the caregiver's abusive actions," said Attorney General Gansler. "All people deserve to be treated humanely and with respect. This incident almost defies belief in that the physical and verbal abuse took place in plain sight of others in, of all places, a doctor's office."
Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Nancy M. Purpura imposed a sentence of five years to the Department of Corrections, suspending all but 90 days in the Baltimore County Detention Center. Upon release, Barnes will be placed on supervised probation for three years, during which time he cannot have contact with disabled persons or vulnerable adults.
The February conviction stemmed 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.
Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Stephen Roscher and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigator Dean Brewer, as well as the Baltimore County Police Department for their work on the case.