Seniors Vulnerable to Sexual Assault in Nursing Homes

Ultrasound technician performing test on woman's neck

Rape and molestation are criminal offenses that create an enormous amount of pain and suffering for victims. Individuals and facilities can also be held liable under civil law for these assaults. Each year, it is estimated that 83% of sexual assaults perpetrated against seniors occur in nursing facilities.

The most recent case in Illinois involves Channing Butler who was employed by the Bickford Senior Living Center in Champaign County. He has been accused of paying individuals to sexually assault residents with memory issues, and then provide him video or photographic evidence of the assaults

“Nursing care facilities have a duty under the law to protect the safety and well-being of their patients. In the case of the facilities that employed Mr. Butler, they failed in this responsibility. As a result, they have exposed their patients to a great deal of physical and mental hardship,” remarked Lake County nursing home abuse lawyer Bogie Martinovich.

In order to protect seniors from sexual assaults in nursing home facilities, Illinois passed the Nursing Home Care Act. This legislation allows patients or their legal representatives to file claims against nursing homes for injuries or neglect suffered at the hands of individuals employed within the facility.

“Seniors are at greater risk of sexual violence than many people realize. We are only beginning to understand its prevalence. What is known is that sexual assaults on seniors has a direct impact on their mortality. Seniors who survive their assaults are at a 300% increased risk of death than their peers,” lamented Lake County nursing home abuse lawyer Bogie Martinovich.

Signs that may indicate sexual abuse towards seniors include bruises, emotional withdrawal, pelvic injuries, agitation, panic attacks, and the presence of unexplained STD’s. Families who notice these injuries or behaviors with their loved ones should report them immediately and contact a Lake County nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss the legal options available through the civil courts.