Nursing home sex offenders are not identified in many states
Last week, the House Small Business Investigations subcommittee in Washington, D.C. held a hearing on nursing home sex offenders and other registered violent criminals living at long-term care facilities. In many states there are no requirements that law enforcement officials notify nursing home residents when convicted sex offenders move into a home and many facilities do not take any steps to warn residents or separate sex offenders from the general population when they are made aware of a resident’s violent criminal past.
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It is not uncommon for sex offenders and convicted criminals to enter nursing homes if they require long-term care that can not be provided in a prison. In addition, many sex offenders who have become homeless or sick end up being admitted to nursing homes for long-term care.
Known sex offenders who move into nursing homes are generally much younger than the average population in the home. According to a report published by the U.S. GAO (Government Accountability Office) at least 700 registered sex offenders lived in nursing homes and long term care facilities in 2006, and many of these sex offenders were much younger than other residents.
While victims of nursing home sexual assault are found among all age groups, younger residents who are admitted with medical problems which require long-term care are often at the highest risk. Often these younger residents are bed ridden and unable to defend themselves in a sexual assault. In addition, negligent supervision by the facility is often partially responsible for a dangerous resident being able to remain behind closed doors with a victim for extended periods of time.
Several states have passed or introduced legislation recently to address the problem of known nursing home sex offenders. California, Illinois, Minnesota and Oklahoma are among the states which passed laws requiring that nursing homes receive notice when a sex offender is admitted to their facility. Other counties, like Hillsborough County, Florida, passed laws requiring sex offenders in long-term care homes to be separated from other residents. In Ohio, legislation has been proposed which would require nursing homes to post notices if sex offenders live there.
NURSING HOME SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS
Nursing home residents and their families should be entitled to at least the same notification rights that people who live in the community have. In addition, nursing homes who agree to care for and treat a resident have an obligation to exercise a reasonable degree of care to protect them from convicted offenders who have a known history of sexual assault, rape or murder.
The nursing home lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential legal claims throughout the United States against facilities for abuse and neglect which results in an injury for a resident. If you, a friend or family member have suffered as a result of a nursing home sexual abuse or negligent care, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.