Missouri Man Accused of Sexual Elder Abuse

sexual elder abuseNursing Home Employee Faces Charges of Sexual Elder Abuse

A West County, Missouri man faces charges of sexual elder abuse after he confessed to his nursing home employer that he had sexually abused two female residents.

Walter Javier Martinez, 44, was charged on August 1st with two counts of felony sexual assault between November 1, 2012, and January 6, 2013. He confessed the sexual elder abuse to his boss, the executive director of Odyssey Hospice, on religious grounds.

At the time, Martinez was a licensed clinical social worker for the Hospice. According to investigators, Martinez sexually assaulted a 99-year-old resident of Odyssey’s Sunrise Assisted Living facility in Chesterfield, and an 80-year-old Alzheimer patient at Bethesda Meadows. Although the details of the sexual elder abuse against the Sunrise Assisted Living resident are unclear, the incident at Bethesda Meadows involved Martinez reportedly fondling the Alzheimer’s patient while he was bathing her.

“I’m very angry for what he did to my mother. I think time behind bars would work, but realistically for me, to have done to him what he did to my mother would be his just punishment,” said the daughter of the 80-year-old victim.

An investigation has been launched at Bethesda Meadows. The group released a statement saying, “The person charged with this crime against one of our residents is not and has not ever been an employee of Bethesda Health Group. When we learned of the allegation, a thorough investigation was conducted and Bethesda contacted the Missouri Department Of Health And Senior services to report the alleged abuse.”

However, Martinez was an employee of Odyssey Hospice, which provided staff members to area nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Martinez was released from jail on August 9th pending a grand jury hearing, after he posted $5,000 bail. He initially faces misdemeanor charges, but now faces felony sexual elder abusecharges.

Missouri lawmakers are reportedly attempting to change sexual abuse laws regarding the elder and patients with Alzheimer’s.

Signs of Sexual Elder Abuse

Sexual abuse is one of the most emotionally difficult types of elder abuse. Residents of nursing homes or assisted living facilities could face sexual abuse from other residents, or from staff members. These people could take advantage of the patient’s dementia or worsening physical condition.

It is very important to know the signs of elder abuse, especially of sexual abuse. As with other victims of sexual abuse, elderly patients will feel embarrassed or ashamed, and will have a very hard time discussing events. They will delay in reporting the abuse, which means there will be less physical evidence. If the case is taken to court, jurors might be reluctant to believe the elderly can be victims of sexual abuse.

Perpetrators of sexual abuse against the elderly can use this embarrassment to their advantage. They could use mental and physical incapacity in the victim to claim that they were elsewhere, or that the victim gave consent and simply forgot. They could also claim that they did not know about the victim’s incapacity.

Changes in behavior, unexplained bruises, depression, dehydration and malnutrition, and fear around certain people are all signs of abuse. In South Carolina, you can contact the Department of Social Services’ Adult Protective Services Division and ask questions, or report suspected elder abuse. You can call them at (803) 898-7318 or visit their website: https://dss.sc.gov/content/customers/protection/aps/index.aspx

The Strom Law Firm Prosecutes Sexual Elder Abuse

If your loved one is a resident of a skilled nursing facility, long term care facility, assisted living, or independent living facility, and has faced sexual elder abuse from employees or fellow residents, you do not have to suffer in silence. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will fight a variety of elder abuse and neglect cases, because it is very important that our elders receive the best possible care at the end of their lives, and we must hold these facilities to the highest possible standard. We offer free, confidential consultations, so you can discuss the facts of your case with impunity. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800.