Elder Sexual Abuse


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Sacramento Lawyers Handling Claims of Sexual Abuse of the Elderly

Sacramento elder sexual abuse attorneys provide compassionate representation for sexually abused or assaulted seniors

The profound impact of sexual abuse on the elderly is overwhelming. Many seniors grappling with the challenges of advanced age and the aftermath of such assaults never fully recover. Instances of sexual abuse among the elderly often involve individuals whom the senior trusted or had a familiar relationship with. Unfortunately, a significant number of elderly victims experiencing sexual abuse also struggle with memory problems. At Garcia & Artigliere, our Sacramento elder abuse attorneys focus on holding both the abuser and those responsible for preventing such abuse, including in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and private caretakers, accountable for any harm inflicted upon seniors. Our track record boasts impressive settlements and verdicts amounting to $3 billion. Call us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can fight for you and your family.

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 sexual abuse of the elderly?

Sexual abuse is a devastating experience for individuals of any age, resulting in immediate emotions of shock, fear, anger, grief, and perpetual concern for their own safety. When sexual abuse affects seniors, the consequences can be particularly devastating. Many older individuals struggle with mental and physical impairments, heightening the difficulty of resisting and reporting the abuse.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines sexual abuse of individuals aged 60 or older as any conduct involving forced or unwanted sexual interaction. This includes sexual contact or penetration without consent and non-physical behaviors causing psychological harm, such as harassment. Both elderly women and men can be victims or perpetrators of sexual abuse.

Those who sexually abuse the elderly might include nursing home staff, visitors to assisted living facilities, live-in helpers, personal caretakers, family members, acquaintances, and even strangers. Additionally, residents in long-term care facilities may also engage in abusive behavior.

What are the signs that an elderly person suffered sexual abuse in Sacramento?

An elderly person’s loved ones should look for both physical and emotional or psychological signs of trauma. These signs include:

  • Physical injuries to the pelvis, genitals, and/or anus
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Damaged undergarments or clothing, with evidence of tearing, blood, or rips
  • Bleeding or bruising in genital areas or inner thighs
  • Psychological manifestations such as withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and symptoms indicative of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Unusual sexual behaviors
  • Suicide attempts

In cases where sexual abuse is suspected in elderly victims, prompt examination is critical. Most hospitals and emergency rooms offer compassionate physical and emotional care for sexual abuse victims and collaborate with forensic nurses to preserve medical evidence, including DNA test results.

At Garcia & Artigliere, our Sacramento elder sexual abuse attorneys are dedicated to providing caring support to victims while vigorously pursuing accountability for both the perpetrators and those responsible for preventing sexual abuse.


Why does sexual abuse of seniors happen in Sacramento?

Sexual abuse of seniors frequently occurs because elderly individuals are perceived as less likely to resist, given their physical and cognitive impairments. Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s are particularly vulnerable, as they may be less inclined to pursue legal action or unable to testify due to memory challenges.

According to a European study cited by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), many women and seniors opt not to report sexual abuse. Various factors contribute to seniors' reluctance to report, including:

  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Embarrassment and humility
  • Lack of emotional support

Primary care physicians and nursing home medical staff often prioritize addressing common physical ailments in the elderly, such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer, rather than focusing on the sexual health of seniors.

At Garcia & Artigliere, our Sacramento elder sexual abuse lawyers collaborate with medical professionals, family members, and witnesses to prove that a caretaker or someone associated with a caretaker's facility had access to the senior and engaged in sexual abuse.

Who could be held liable for the sexual abuse of seniors in Sacramento?

The individual responsible for sexually abusing a senior may face charges related to sex crimes, potentially leading to jail time. At Garcia & Artigliere, our Sacramento elder abuse attorneys bring civil complaints against the abusers, aiming to secure fair compensation for the physical and emotional harm inflicted on your loved one.

Our trial lawyers also file personal injury claims against any caretakers whose negligence allowed the sexual abuse to occur or if the abuser was an employee of the caretaker.

Defendants may be held liable for various reasons:

  • Employers, such as nursing homes, are generally accountable for the actions of their employees. In cases where an employee of a nursing home perpetrates sexual abuse, the nursing home could be deemed liable.
  • Long-term care facilities, caretaker businesses, and agencies may also be held liable if they neglect to implement policies and procedures to prevent sexual abuse of the elderly under their care or fail to address complaints of sexual abuse.
  • For instance, nursing homes and other caretakers may be held accountable for sexual abuse if they neglect to:
    • Employ an adequate number of competent staff members
    • Conduct background checks on potential employees
    • Provide training to employees and contractors on recognizing signs of sexual abuse among residents in their care
    • Establish policies and procedures encouraging seniors or their family members to report sexual abuse
    • Investigate allegations of sexual abuse
    • Take sufficient measures to protect individuals with cognitive disabilities in their care
    • Safeguard residents from potential harm caused by other residents
    • Implement staff rotation and ensure proper monitoring of staff members

What is the value of an elderly sexual abuse claim in Sacramento?

At Garcia & Artigliere, our Sacramento elder sexual abuse lawyers advocate for compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional pain
  • Loss of dignity
  • Decrease of the senior's quality of life
  • Punitive damages comparable to the egregious nature of sexual abuse

In one case, our founding attorney, Stephen M. Garcia, secured a $5.4 million settlement on behalf of an 87-year-old woman who endured continual sexual molestation by the co-manager of a residential care facility. Despite the abuser's extensive history of alleged sexual misconduct at the facility, the co-manager's actions were never reported to Adult Protective Services or the Department of Social Services. Through our investigation, we discovered that the nursing home terminated the co-manager's employment but delayed reporting the incidents to the police for eight days, allowing the co-manager to flee.

Do you have a Sacramento sexual abuse lawyer near me?

Our firm maintains offices in Long Beach and Los Angeles. We have the experience, resources, and respect to help you assert your rights now.

Call the Sacramento elder sexual abuse lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere To schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our experienced Sacramento elder sexual abuse lawyers, call or contact our offices. Garcia & Artigliere has offices in Long Beach and Los Angeles and serve clients throughout California.

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