According to the Daily Record, Arbor Terrace Morris Plains Senior Living facility maintenance worker, 61-year-old Anthony Ligon, was charged with sexual assault and criminal sexual contact. Ligon allegedly raped an 82-year-old resident of the center who suffers from dementia and is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
He was caught in the act by another staff member during her nightly rounds. Ligon told the woman staff member not to report the incident as he would lose his job. Following his plea, the staff member checked on the elderly woman and reported what she saw to the police. The woman claims she saw Ligon on top of the victim in her bed, while his pants and underwear were completely off.
The victim and resident of Arbor Terrace reported she was raped and had vaginal pain. The victim was taken to the hospital, Morristown Medical Center, where she received treatment and underwent a sexual-assault exam.
Attorney contributor, Brian Kent, a sexual abuse lawyer, represents victims and their families in sexual abuse civil lawsuits. Brian provided commentary in an interview to assist victims of sexual assault in determining whether they have a claim against a medical facility.
We asked Brian about the legal obligations a medical facility has to their patients and residents. He replied, “medical staffs have a legal obligation to protect their patients and ensure a safe environment. Sadly, predators are sometimes found working alongside patients as the medical staff. Medical facilities must protect their patients from these predators and sexual assault.”
When asked if a victim can sue a medical facility for sexual abuse, Brian replied, “the victim and the family must ask if the medical facility did everything possible to prevent this sexual abuse. Some sexual abuse cases only occur as a result of negligence from the medical facility. For example, if a medical facility ignores prior sexual misconduct and allows the worker to continue working, it could be considered negligent. In cases of negligence by medical facilities, the victim and their family should know they may have grounds for a lawsuit against the said medical facility.”