Prison for caregiver who abused elderly woman

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that Virgen Caraballo was sentenced to 10 ½ years in prison.

Caraballo is required to relinquish her STNA (State Tested Nursing Aid) Certification and cannot work in a facility that is a Medicaid provider.

Virgen Caraballo, 45, of Cleveland, a State Tested Nursing Assistant was employed by the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Center at MetroHealth. The 78-year-old female victim had been a patient for three years at the Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Center which is located on Scranton Road in Cleveland. She suffers from Alzheimer's disease and requires assistance from staff for all her needs.

Between April 8, 2011 and May 15, 2011, State Tested Nursing Assistant Caraballo abused the victim while providing her care. The victim's son set up a hidden camera in an air purifier in the hospital room. Videos depicted acts of patient abuse involving Caraballo that included rough (forceful) transfers from the bed to the wheelchair, tossing the patient in a rough manner onto the bed, and pushing the patient's face into her bed while performing personal hygiene.

On November 28, 2011, Caraballo pleaded guilty to seven (7) counts of Patient Abuse, all felonies of the fourth degree.

"The way this woman was treated by those assigned to care for her was unbelievable," said Attorney General DeWine. "Families cannot tolerate such care and neither will we. We are happy to have worked with other law enforcement to bring the responsible people to justice."

"It's sickening and appalling that this defendant, who we entrusted with our loved ones, has no regard for human life," said Prosecutor Mason. "The sentence today ensures justice for the defendant and closure for the victim and the victim's family."

The Ohio Attorney General's Office conducted the investigation with assistance from the Cleveland Police Department, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, and the Ohio Department of Health.

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