A 22-year-old man named Henrii Hosue Reynoso is wanted by law enforcement in Georgia after charges were filed against him for sexually abusing at least four residents of the Shepherd Hills Nursing Home in Lafayette. Reynoso was questioned by police as a person of interest directly after the family of a resident of the skilled care facility reported a sexual assault. Reynoso was not immediately detained by the police and was permitted to leave the law enforcement center after the initial questioning.
Following the initial report that one resident allegedly was sexually assaulted by Reynoso, at least three other residents of the Shepherd Hills Nursing Home came forward with allegations that they too had been sexually abused by the man. Police obtained an arrest warrant, but Reynoso appeared to have fled the jurisdiction and has yet to be found by law enforcement officials.
Reynoso has been working at the nursing home as a certified nursing assistant for a number of months before the allegations of sexual abuse arose. He was not duly certified to work as a CNA, however. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Georgia and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allow for exemptions that permit uncertified people to work in nursing care facilities as CNAs even though they are not certified nursing assistants. According to these agencies, individuals without proper certification are allowed to work in skilled care centers during the pandemic to avoid understaffing of these facilities.
Reynoso is not the only nursing home staff member to be charged with crimes as a result of the alleged sexual assault of residents. Two other nursing home staff members, Peggy Bohannon and Stacy Jackson, are facing criminal charges of failing to comply with Georgia’s mandatory reporting laws.
Bohannon was the head nurse on duty the night of the first reported assault and Jackson was a social worker who became aware of that abuse the day it allegedly occurred. Neither woman reported the alleged abuse to proper authorities as required by Georgia law.
According to the Lafayette Chief of Police Bengie Clift: “It wasn’t that they didn’t report it in a timely manner. They didn’t report it (at all). A family member (of the allegedly abused resident) called the police department.”
In addition to sexual abuse, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, reports other commonplace forms of elder abuse that include:
- Physical abuse
- Psychological and emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
Elder abuse is a significant problem across the United States, according to the CDC. The agency reports that between 2002 and 2016, over 643,000 elderly adults were treated in emergency rooms in the U.S.A. for nonfatal assaults. In addition, during the same time period, 19,000 homicides were reported with elderly adults as the victims.
A stark reality is that a considerable percentage of nursing home abuse cases go unreported. Families and friends with loved ones in skilled care centers need to be alert to the potential signs of nursing home abuse, that include:
- Unexplained injuries (cuts, bruises, broken bones)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Emotional issues (depression, anxiety, confusion)
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained financial transactions
- Withdrawal from family and friends
If one, another, or a combination of these signs are noticed, family and friends need to be as proactive as possible to protect their loved one.
If you’ve a family member or other loved one you fear has been abused (or neglected) in a nursing home or other type of residential care facility, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is her for you. A nationwide law firm with offices located from coast to coast, you can schedule an initial consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer by calling (800) 349-0000 any time of the day or night. Our nursing home abuse hotline is staffed 365 days a year, including all major holidays. In addition to scheduling an appointment at any one of our offices, we can also arrange a virtual consultation with you online. There is no cost for an initial consultation and case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee guarantee to you as well. We never charge an attorney fee unless we win for you.