Male Nurse Wanted for Elder Abuse Found in Canada

Male Nurse Wanted for Felony Elder Abuse Found Working in Canada

male nurseA former male nurse with a warrant for felony elder abuse and lewd conduct with a patient in San Diego has been found in Vancouver, Canada.

Russell Torralba, 41, was taken into custody on January 9th by Canadian Border Services Agency staff after receiving a tip from the US Marshall’s Office. Torralba had been working illegally in Canada as a caregiver to a disabled child in a private home.

In December 2013, Torralba and co-defendant Alfredo Ruiz, 42, were charged with nine criminal counts of elder abuse each – four felonies for elder neglect by a caregiver, and one felony count of committing a lewd act with a dependent adult. Evidence came from a video taken in 2011 that shows the two men engaged in repeated sexual acts on a 98-year-old female stroke victim.

A news channel in San Diego received portions of the video in 2012 and released them to the public, prompting the nurses’ removal from the care facility and subsequent investigation and elder abuse charges. Prior to the video’s release, the patient’s family suspected that their relative was not being cared for properly and complained to the care facility.

“I am relieved to receive news that Mr. Torralba has been apprehended in Canada,” said Ariela Deicas, the patient’s granddaughter. “Although distressed to know that he was caring for a minor, I’m thankful for the authorities that apprehended this man in order to protect anyone that could possibly be preyed upon.”

Ruiz and Torralba have also received elder abuse charges from six additional residents at two other care facilities in Mira Mesa, dating back to 2010.

The child that Torralba was providing nursing care for in Canada was taken into the custody of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Both Ruiz and Torralba have had their nursing licenses revoked, and face up to 11 years in prison if convicted on the felony elder abuse charges.

Signs of Elder Abuse, Including Felony Elder Abuse

A person does not have to inflict abuse to be held responsible for the physical abuse. One is culpable by allowing it to take place without doing anything to stop or prevent the abuse. By law, physical abuse includes: slapping, hitting, kicking, biting, choking, pinching, burning, drugging a patient or confining a patient to control behavior.

Nursing home residents suffering from physical abuse by their caregivers (home caregivers, family member caregivers) may show:

  • bruises, welts, burns
  • unexplained fractures or other physical injuries
  • repeated accidents
  • injuries left untreated
  • references to caregiver’s temper or anger
  • nervous or quiet around caregiver
  • runs away from the home or tries to
  • has marks or scars from restraints on wrists
  • shows effects of chemical restraints such as incoherence, grogginess, excessive sleep
  • sudden fear, restlessness, anxiety
  • prevented from getting medical treatment or being alone with visitors

Physical abuse of the elderly, whether in a nursing home, or at home by a caregiver, is a felony and should be prosecuted.

The Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Prosecute Felony Elder Abuse

If your loved one has physically suffered, or died wrongfully, because an in-home caregiver or registered nurse in a nursing home has neglected the patient, you may have a felony elder abuse caseThe attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the sensitive nature of elder abuse cases, and will treat you with respect and compassion. It is important to fight felony elder abuse so you, your family, and others no longer suffer because of criminal behavior. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help.803.252.4800

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