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Apr-05-2007 18:45printcomments

Elder Abuse Suit Alleges Serial Sexual Predator Allowed to Roam the Halls

In the new case brought forth by Ruth Howard against the Salem, Oregon based care organization, the defendants are being accused of elder abuse, assault and battery, negligence and fraud

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(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) - A civil suit was filed in San Bernardino Superior Court by an 87-year-old woman who alleges she was sexually molested repeatedly by Larry Hoover, a co-manager with his wife of the San Bernardino Leisure Pointe Retirement Center.

This is the fictitious name for Holiday Retirement Corp. which is headquartered in Salem, Oregon.

According to reports, Hoover was known by facility management and its corporate overseers to be a serial sexual predator upon the elderly women living at the center.

In the new case brought forth by Ruth Howard, the defendants are being accused of elder abuse, assault and battery, negligence and fraud. "As repugnant as the situation is," says Long Beach, Calif., attorney Stephen M. Garcia of The Garcia Law Firm, "it is even more distressing that what Mrs. Howard suffered never needed to happen if the facility had followed its own procedures and investigated charges that Hoover had been reported 'helping [a 101-year-old female resident] with her bra' and was later seen lying on a couch with his head in the woman's lap." Garcia continued, "And, worse, is the fact that this is not the first time that Mr. Hoover had been accused of sexually molesting residents! How, why and for what possible purpose Holiday would engage in a cover up of these allegations is astounding and troubling." The complaint alleges that Howard's ordeal of being victimized by repeated sexual molestations was discovered by her night caregiver who, because she was suffering health problems placed a baby monitor under a table, and was monitoring Howard and several other residents in case they called out in the night.

The caregiver says he heard Hoover's voice in the room and sounds of sexual activity. The caregiver called his supervisor and held the phone to the monitor when he realized Hoover was leaving Howard's apartment and letting himself into another elderly lady's apartment. The caregiver says he raced down the hallway, unwilling to permit Hoover to molest two of hisfemale patients in one night. He found Hoover standing over the woman who was seated on the toilet and who said she did not call Hoover. Howard asserts that the facility manager contacted the Holiday Retirement Corporation's regional director, Dave Wright, who instructed the manager to suspend Hoover and to call the company's in-house investigator, Joe Diglio, a former Los Angeles Police Department detective, who was in Salem, Oregon.

When Diglio arrived at the San Bernardino County facility, he obtained Hoover's resignation and confession and returned to Oregon.

Prior to leaving, Diglio instructed the manager to tell the residents that Hoover left due to "family problems." "Mrs. Howard maintains that Holiday concealed Hoover's conduct not only from Leisure Pointe Retirement Center residents, but also from Howard's daughter Lorraine Blair," says Garcia. "Furthermore, that they waited eight days before notifying the police of the incidents, which allowed a serial sexual predator to escape prosecution to this very day. It is the contention of the complaint that Holiday's inaction arose from the fact that it was in negotiations to sell five facilities around the country, including Leisure Pointe Retirement Center, to Senior Housing Properties Trust for $61.5 million." "If in fact this was a cover up to profit on the pain and suffering of an elder adult, it is absolutely the most appalling conduct I have ever encountered in 21 years of practicing law," Garcia says. Though Hoover had a long history of alleged sexual misconduct at Leisure Pointe, Howard's advocates say none of the suspected incidents of elder abuse were reported to either Adult Protective Services or the Department of Social Services, though Holiday Retirement Corporation's own policy demands it.

In the case of the 101-year- old woman Hoover was seen "helping with her bra," the facility, again, never contacted the woman's attorney.

Already suffering a serious degree of dementia, Howard's attorney say sher emotional state and sense of security are shattered by the harm Hoover foisted upon her and which, it is alleged, Holiday Retirement Corp. permitted. Holiday Retirement Corp. operates more than 300 retirement communities in North America, including 41 in California. According to media reports, Fortress Investment Group (New York), is set to take over the U.S. operator with an offer valuing the company at $6.7 billion at a capitalization rate of 5.8 per cent.


Special thanks to PRNewswire

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Albert Marnell April 5, 2007 8:47 pm (Pacific time)

Elder abuse has been going on for a long time. If you ever had grandparents that you dearly loved and read this stuff, don't be frightened if you have a homicidal impulse.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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