Monday, September 19, 2011

Former nursing home worker pleads no contest in abuse case

A former nursing assistant accused of abusing a 93-year-old woman at a nursing home last year entered into a two-year deferred prosecution agreement Friday in Buffalo County Court.

Shawna Hardesty, 38, of Buffalo City was charged with intentionally abusing an elder patient -causing bodily harm. That was amended Friday to abuse of a vulnerable adult. Hardesty was accused of repeatedly punching the elderly resident of a Fountain City health care center, leaving a baseball-size bruise on her forehead.
The elderly woman who claimed she was abused by Hardesty has died.
Hardesty entered an Alford plea, in which she pleaded no contest to the charge but maintained innocence.
The agreement calls for Hardesty to complete anger management treatment and counseling, perform 40 hours of community service during the first year of the agreement, and not do volunteer or paid work as a caregiver, except for immediate relatives. She is allowed to provide child care services.

Hardesty was also ordered not to have any contact with St. Michael's Lutheran Home.

According to the criminal complaint:
The elderly woman said Hardesty hit her on numerous occasions, including punching her three times in the forehead Aug. 2, 2010, leaving a large bruise and giving her a headache.
"Every time she (Hardesty) comes in this room, I get a biff," the woman said, displaying a closed fist. Hardesty was the only person who attended to the woman that morning.

Hardesty's employment was terminated by the end of that week, according to nursing home officials. She worked at the center about a year.
Former nursing home worker pleads no contest in abuse case - Leader-Telegram: Front Page

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