(CLEVELAND, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason announced that Virgen Caraballo plead guilty today to seven counts of Patient Abuse, felonies of the fourth degree. As part of her plea, Caraballo is required to relinquish her STNA (State Tested Nursing Aid) Certification and cannot work in a facility that is a Medicaid recipient. Sentencing is scheduled for January 9, 2012, at 10:00 am in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
Virgen Caraballo, 45, of Cleveland, a State Tested Nursing Assistant was employed by the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Center at MetroHealth. The 78-year-old female victim had been a patient for three years at the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Center which is located on Scranton Road in Cleveland. She suffers from Alzheimer's disease and requires assistance from staff for all her needs.
Between April 8, 2011 and May 15, 2011, State Tested Nursing Assistant Caraballo abused the victim while providing her care. The victim's son set up a hidden camera in an air purifier in the hospital room. Videos depicted acts of patient abuse involving Caraballo that included rough (forceful) transfers from the bed to the wheelchair, tossing the patient in a rough manner onto the bed, and pushing the patient's face into her bed while performing personal hygiene.
"This abuse became well known after the victim's son set up a hidden camera to capture the atrocious treatment his mother received," said Attorney General DeWine. "We are happy to have assisted in successfully investigating and prosecuting this case."
"Caring for the elderly is a sacred responsibility," said Prosecutor Mason. "Ms. Caraballo's actions in this case shocked the conscience."
The Ohio Attorney General's Office conducted the investigation with assistance from the Cleveland Police Department, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, and the Ohio Department of Health.
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Maria Russo: 216-698-2819
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