Sex Offenders in Nursing Homes

Where do elderly sex offenders go when they can no longer take care of themselves? This is a question that more and more nursing homes across the country are having to face of late. Aging sex offenders, like many other aging Americans, need care in their advanced age, and could possibly seek out nursing homes to provide them with the care they need. This presents a complicated issue for nursing homes: how do you properly care for a potentially dangerous resident while also protecting the safety of the numerous other facility residents?

The staff at the Pomeroy Care Center in Iowa recently dealt with this issue. William Cubbage, a convicted sex offender, moved into the Pomeroy Care Center directly after his release from the Iowa Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders in 2010, where he was serving time for crimes such as lascivious acts with a child. While living at the Pomeroy nursing home, Cubbage was seen allegedly sexually assaulting 95-year-old Mercedes Gottschalk, another Pomeroy resident. Although prosecutors have decided not to pursue any criminal charges (Cubbage is being recommitted to the civil sex offender unit), the Iowa State Board of Nursing Home Administrators has pursued disciplinary action against the nursing home’s administrator for professional incompetence, and the Iowa Dept. of Inspections & Appeals has fined the nursing home facility $10,000.00.

The Iowa State Board of Nursing Home Administrators has imposed a $500 fine on Susan Juilfs, the former administrator of the Pomeroy Care Center, and is requiring her to train other nursing home employees on how to handle sex offenders and their presence in nursing homes. While Ms. Juilfs signed a settlement agreement, agreeing to the Board’s punishment for her failure to protect Pomeroy Care Center residents from William Cubbage, she denies any wrongdoing. Juilfs maintains that she did nothing wrong, and that she is being punished because, as administrator, she is the person on whom responsibility ultimately falls.

Ms. Gottschalk died in 2012, but her family has decided to sue the Iowa Dept. of Human Services for failing to properly supervise Cubbage and prevent him from re-offending while residing in the center.

Sexual assault of nursing home residents should never occur. This is a form of nursing home abuse/neglect. If you suspect that your loved one has been abused while residing in a nursing home facility, do not wait to get help. Contact the experienced Tennessee nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at The Higgins Firm today.

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