Elder Abuse Attorney in San Diego, California

What are the biggest challenges you face in cases involving sexual abuse of an elderly person?

San Diego personal injury attorney Joel R. Bryant talks about the biggest challenges in handling cases involving sexual abuse of an elderly person.

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00:04
the biggest challenge
00:06
with sexual abuse in nursing home cases
00:09
is finding out what really happened the
00:11
reason for that is twofold one
00:14
the victim of sexual assault in a
00:16
nursing home is often
00:18
someone with severe moderate to severe
00:20
cognitive impairment
00:21
a serious dementia so that
00:25
they have a very compromised ability to
00:27
communicate
00:28
relatedly the nursing homes often
00:32
try to sweep this under the rug and so
00:35
it’s most common that when sexual
00:37
assault occurs the nursing home
00:39
will delay reporting the incident
00:42
to the authorities and that’s a problem
00:45
because by the time the authorities are
00:47
contacted it’s often the case
00:49
it’s too late for the criminal
00:51
authorities to gather
00:53
evidence of the sexual assault it’s also
00:57
they delay reporting this to the family
01:00
so the family is not able
01:02
to speak with their loved one
01:05
close in time to when the sexual assault
01:08
happened
01:09
and relatedly since we often have an
01:13
elder who can’t communicate what
01:16
happened
01:18
and by whom it presents some problems of
01:22
proof with us but again just like our
01:25
other cases
01:26
we can go to documentation and then
01:29
interviewing or deposing witnesses to
01:32
put
01:32
the pieces together even though we don’t
01:34
have the
01:36
type of evidence that say a criminal
01:38
authorities
01:39
would have and what we’ve found is
01:41
although a cognitively impaired elder
01:44
can’t articulate to you how it happened
01:48
and and why and how he or she is feeling
01:51
about this
01:53
but we find that their conduct going
01:56
forward
01:56
will reveal that it happened and the
01:59
serious effect it has had so in those
02:01
cases
02:02
the family members coming in giving very
02:06
compelling testimony
02:07
about what was your mother like
02:10
before the sexual assault happened
02:14
and then how was her behavior and what
02:16
kind of things did she
02:18
say afterwards and we have found that
02:20
when they are
02:21
sexually assaulted not surprisingly
02:24
they will become very combative going
02:27
forward
02:28
very combative particularly with the
02:30
females that have been sexually
02:32
assaulted they’ll be
02:33
they’re not comfortable anymore with
02:35
males
02:36
being around them and we found in one
02:38
case where the elder
02:40
was start confusing the person who
02:42
sexually assaulted it
02:45
with even her husband any males that
02:47
were around her
02:48
she would reach out strike out
02:52
and become very agitated so it has
02:54
life-lasting effects
02:56
but you’ve got to develop it not through
02:58
the victim but
02:59
through often family members who’ve
03:02
observed the conduct
03:04
after the sexual assault

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