SEVIERVILLE, Tennessee – Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will be pursuing criminal charges against two TN nursing home employees accused of taking pictures of residents in the nude and in degrading situations. Both female former employees of Pigeon Forge nursing home, ages 35 and 50, were arrested yesterday after each being indicted by a grand jury on four counts of health care abuse.
Tennessee Law Blog had previously reported on this nursing home sexual abuse at Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center. Then, it was reported that in early May 2009 authorities had discovered one of the aids was using a cell phone camera to record images and video of nude or seminude nursing home residents. Even more disturbing, the nursing assistant had allegedly defended her actions by stating that residents were “my babies” and that she “I meant to delete the ones that are nude.”
These two certified nursing assistants were booked yesterday into Sevier County Jail, each on $20,000 bonds. Arrests were made by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A 55-page document released by the Tennessee Department of Health outlines alleged incidents at the Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center and states the 12 abused residents were subject to a total of 47 still images and 27 videos taken from 2007 until May 2009.
The nursing home has since banned staff members using cell phones in resident areas.
As a nursing home attorney hearing cases of abuse in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, the most disturbing element to me about many of these sexual abuse cases is that often nursing home victims of sexual abuse do not recall the event. Many times, abusers target patients with dementia or other mental impairments on purpose, and it will take a skilled legal team with plenty of nursing home abuse experience to prove incidents of sexual abuse. If you believe your loved one has been a victim degrading activity at a nursing home, contact my Nashville, TN law offices online or by calling (615) 353-0930.