Charges: Senior Living Workers Filmed Nude Patients
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
HOWARD, Wis. (AP) -- Two workers at a Howard senior living facility face felony charges after being accused of filming unclothed elderly patients and sharing the images.
A criminal complaint filed last week charges two women in their 20s with recording nudity without consent.
The complaint, filed in Brown County, identifies the alleged victims as two residents of Brookview Meadows who are in their 80's.
The complaint says one was filmed while bathing and the other while being treated for an obstructed bowel.
Each woman faces three felony counts, and each count carries a maximum penalty of 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It says images were shared with others via a smartphone application.
A company spokesperson released the following statement related to the charges:
Brookview Meadows has long believed that the safety and privacy of its residents are its top priority. To that end, where a violation of resident privacy is concerned, Brookview Meadows practices a “zero tolerance” policy. In the matter at hand, Brookview Meadows acted promptly and went well-beyond what is required by law to investigate and address the violations of resident privacy and to punish and seek the prosecution of the wrongdoers. Although the matter might have been handled internally, Brookview Meadows chose instead to report the incident to the Brown County Sheriff’s Department because of its commitment to provide the highest level of care for its residents.
Both of the employees at issue here were carefully screened before they were hired. Both individuals had clean criminal records and both were certified by the State of Wisconsin as certified nursing assistants. While employed, both individuals also received extensive training on a variety of issues – including resident privacy and confidentiality training.
Immediately upon learning of the breach of resident privacy and the inexcusable conduct of the employees, Brookview Meadows contacted the authorities and suspended the employment of both individuals. Brookview Meadows also promptly notified the families of the affected residents, and self-reported the incident to the State Department of Health Services. Brookview Meadows also immediately retained a third party to conduct an independent investigation of the situation, and upon conclusion of that investigation, Brookview Meadows terminated the employment of both individuals.
Out of respect for the privacy of the parties involved and the pending legal process, Brookview Meadows declines to make further comment.