Caregiver Assaults 76-Year-Old Nursing Home Patient
A 76-year-old woman at Rennes Health & Rehab Center was sexually assaulted by 33-year-old William Schartner, of Howard, who has been arrested for the crime.
Schartner has been charged with second-degree sexual assault, and intentionally objecting an individual at risk of abuse. His bond was set at $50,000.
According to the court documents, Schartner entered the victim’s room as she slept at the rehab center. He measured her blood pressure, and then allegedly began to touch her inappropriately.
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The woman resisted and reportedly yelled for him to get his hands off of her and to leave and never come back.
Later that same evening, Schartner re-entered the victims room after she used her call button. She saw it was him and ordered him out.
The following day, the victim reported the incident to another staffer at the health and rehab center. Officials suspended the man and notified the police the same day.
Elder sexual abuse is often understudied and underreported. According to a study published in the 2000 Journal of Abuse, nearly 71 percent of elder sexual abuse cases occur in nursing homes. Unfortunately, the National Institute of Justice claims that victims in assisted-living facilities are less likely than those living independently to obtain justice for the abuse they suffered.
Some signs of elder sexual abuse include difficulty sitting or walking, bruises near the genital area, extreme agitation and inappropriate or unusual behavior between the victim and suspect.
Some victims of sexual elder abuse suffer from dementia or Alzheimers, which can make it difficult for them to express what happened. It is important that family members and nursing home caretakers watch for any signs of possible sexual abuse, and report these signs to the authorities.