A male nursing assistant at a St. Louis Park long-term care facility repeatedly sexually assaulted a severely depressed, morbidly obese female patient, according to state health investigators.
The assaults occurred at Westwood Health Care Center on February 10. The employee was suspended from his job and later fired.
The investigative report found that the nursing assistant engaged in fondling, digital penetration, and attempted penile penetration. The patient reported the assault to another nursing assistant the following day.
The patient, who has not been identified, has a history of suicide attempts. She requires extensive assistance with caring for her basic needs, including transferring from her bed into a wheelchair.
A criminal complaint obtained by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis identifies the suspect as Peter M. Juma. He had worked at the facility for about one year. Juma was charged in April with criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult.
Westwood immediately suspended the employee and notified the police. An investigation found that the facility acted properly and was not responsible for the abuse.
Since the assault, the patient has experienced psychological difficulties related to the incident, according to the report. She told staff members that she "continues to see the [employee's] face when her eyes are closed."
In a statement, Westwood said that it "regrets that this incident happened, but assures the families and their loved ones living at the facility that they do everything required to screen their employees, and make sure the people they employee are individuals that are concerned about providing quality respectful care to those we are entrusted to care for."