Elder Sexual Abuse


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North Hollywood Lawyers Handling Claims of Sexual Abuse of the Elderly

North Hollywood elder abuse attorneys representing victims of sexual assault

The unthinkable does happen. Many seniors are sexually abused while they reside in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities. The abusers may be staff members, visitors, contractors, and even other residents. The victims are often seniors who have physical challenges or cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. At Garcia & Artigliere, our North Hollywood elder abuse lawyers have the experience (more than 150 combined years of experience) and the results (more than $3 billion in recoveries) to help your loved one hold the abuser and the caretaker accountable. We’ll fight to restore your loved one’s dignity, hope, physical health, and mental health when sexual abuse does happen - call us today to assert your rights.

Elder abuse attorney Stephen M. Garcia obtained $5.4 million dollars for an 87-year-old woman who was repeatedly sexually molested by the co-manager of a residential care facility. The co-manager had a long history of alleged sexual misconduct at the facility, but none of the incidents of elder abuse were reported to either Adult Protective Services or to the Department of Social Services. Upon discovery, the nursing home fired the co-manager and waited 8 days to report his actions to the police, giving him time to flee.


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What is the definition of sexual abuse of the elderly?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines elderly sexual abuse as any conduct involving a senior who is 60 or older that “involves forced or unwanted sexual interaction of any kind with an older adult.” Sexual abuse includes rape, sexual assault, being forced to watch sexual acts, and sexual harassment. Another type of sexual abuse is promising a senior that she/he will receive better treatment if he/she engages in sexual acts.

All types of sexual acts require consent. Consent is generally impossible for any senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia to provide. The elderly who have cognitive and physical challenges are often seen as targets for sexual abuse because of their inability to fight back. Caretakers should anticipate these problems and develop and implement policies to prevent sexual abuse – such as conducting background checks, limiting who can spend time with a senior, monitoring relations between senior residents, reporting sexual abuse to local authorities immediately, and taking other precautions.

At Garcia & Artigliere, our North Hollywood elder abuse lawyers understand how to sensitively show what sexual conduct occurred, that the sexual acts were nonconsensual, and how the nursing home or other type of caretaker should have prevented the sexual abuse.

When should I suspect my loved one is being sexually abused?

One of the ways family members can help seniors is by visiting them regularly. When you see your parent, grandparent, or other relative in person, there are often many signs that indicate your relative may have been sexually abused.

Some of these signs include:

  • Undergarments that are bloody, ripped, or torn
  • Fear of other staff members, other residents, or anyone with access to the facility
  • Anxiety or depressions
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Genital areas that are bruised or cut
  • Problems sleeping or sitting
  • Different eating habits
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Attempts at suicide
  • Unusual conversations about sex

Some signs of sexual abuse you can see. Some signs require questioning of your loved one. Please contact Garcia & Artigliere now if you have any concerns. Our North Hollywood nursing home and abuse lawyers work with professional sexual abuse counselors and psychologists who can review with your loved one what happened, and who can provide counseling and care. We also work with professionals who are skilled at preserving physical evidence of sexual assaults such as photos, DNA evidence, and other sensitive evidence.


Why does sexual abuse of the elderly occur in North Hollywood?

Nursing homes, other long-term care facilities, and short-term care facilities should all understand why sexual abuse of the elderly happens in North Hollywood and what steps to take to stop the abuse.

Sexual abuse of the elderly occurs for many reasons including:

  • The inability of seniors with physical and cognitive abilities to resist
  • The inability of many seniors to give consent
  • Fear – many seniors are afraid of further abuse if they complain
  • Lack of sexual health care by elder care doctors
  • Many elderly people are confined to or spend a lot of time in their bedrooms

Preventive steps include:

  • Conducting background checks on new applicants and current employees
  • Addressing understaffing Your loved one should be cared for by multiple employees so the good caring employees can check for sexual abuse and report sexual abuse by another coworker
  • Educating staff members about how to recognize sexual abuse and respond to sexual abuse
  • Creating a safe and effective reporting system
  • Identifying which seniors are at risk and the residents who might commit sexual abuse
  • Implementing rules and procedures to prevent sexual abuse
  • Ensuring sexual abuse victims receive prompt physical and psychological care
  • Contacting law enforcement, the California long-term care Ombudsman, and local adult protection agencies

Can caretaker facilities be held liable for sexual abuse of the elderly in North Hollywood?

At Garcia & Artigliere, our North Hollywood sexual abuse lawyers file personal injury claims against the abuser and caretakers who could have prevented the abuse. Caretakers may be liable for the abuse by their employees. Often, we work to show the caretaker could have prevented the abuse, failed to stop the abuse when they obtained knowledge, and failed to do everything they could have to help a senior who was abused.

If the person who committed sexual abuse is charged criminally, we coordinate our civil case with the criminal case against the abuser.

The defendants in sexual abuse cases in California may include:

  • The individual who commits the sexual abuse
  • A nursing home, assisted living facility, long-term care facility, rehabilitation center, home healthcare agency, or any other caretaker
  • The owners, managers, and supervisors of the caretaker business

How much is an elderly victim’s North Hollywood sexual abuse claim worth?

At Garcia & Artigliere, our North Hollywood sexual abuse lawyers focus on all the small details that often add up to large settlements and verdicts. We work with your doctors and our own network of doctors to show just how devastating the life of an abused senior has become. In addition to the physical injuries, we focus on the emotional injuries that often last for the rest of the senior’s life.

We demand compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses including emergency care, doctor visits, surgeries, and long-term psychological counseling
  • Daily physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Changes to the senior’s quality of life
  • Loss of trust, hope, and confidence
  • The physical and emotional scars

We usually seek punitive damages from the sexual abuser.

In one sexual abuse case, founding partner Stephen M. Garcia obtained $5.4 million dollars for an 87-year-old senior who was sexually assaulted by a residential care facility’s co-manager. The nursing home failed to promptly notify the Department of Social Services or Adult Protective Services of the assault which enabled the co-manager to flee.

Do you have a North Hollywood sexual abuse lawyer near me?

Garcia & Artigliere understands how traumatic and personal sexual abuse of the elderly is. We meet clients at our California offices, at the residences where the senior lives, and at other locations when necessary. We also conduct consultations by phone and through video.

We’ll answer your questions and those of your loved one. We understand the unique challenges involved with representing elderly victims of sexual assault.

Speak with an experienced North Hollywood elder sexual abuse lawyer today

At Garcia & Artigliere, our North Hollywood sexual abuse of the elderly attorneys help sexual abuse victims hold abusers and caretakers accountable for their horrific conduct. We’ve helped thousands of seniors obtain strong and just recoveries.

To help stop sexual abuse and protect your loved one, call or contact our offices today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We represent sexually abused seniors throughout California including North Hollywood, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. We also represent the elderly in Arizona, Kentucky, and Louisiana. We only receive compensation if the claim of the senior is successful.

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