Legal Commentary: Sexual abuse lawyer Michael Haggard discusses the legal rights of nursing home abuse victims and their families in the second section of this article.
A 25-year-old employee of a nursing home in Indian River County has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a disabled patient three separate times.
Christopher Alan Lacau is accused of touching the woman in a sexual manner. The victim is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair. He has been charged with three counts of lewd lascivious act on elderly or disabled.
Indian River County deputies visited the unnamed facility at around 8 p.m. December 23 to investigate reports of sexual abuse. The woman told deputies that Lacau touched her breasts and forced her into oral sex.
The alleged abuse happened in the woman's room at the assisted living facility, according to deputies.
Lacau has worked at the nursing home since February 2019 and was suspended after these allegations came to light.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard represents sexual abuse victims and their families, including victims of nursing home abuse. Michael has some thoughts to add on the legal options available to these victims and families:
Safety should be the top priority at nursing homes, as families trust these facilities to provide their loved ones with quality care and to keep them safe. But sadly, not all nursing homes reward this trust. Cases of abuse and neglect are common in nursing homes across the country. Our lawyers have even seen cases of nursing home employees sexually abusing residents.
When a nursing home resident is sexually abused by an employee, the case should be investigated thoroughly. Along with criminal charges against the perpetrator, victims and their families may also have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home for negligence.
If you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home sexual abuse, you can learn more about your legal rights by discussing your case with our experienced sexual abuse victim lawyers.