Sexual Assault and Abuse in Colorado Nursing Homes

Nursing home staff should care for residents and prevent all harm. However, mistreatment does occur. One of the most heinous examples of wrongful treatment in these facilities includes nursing home sexual abuse. Victims of sexual abuse should immediately contact a nursing home sexual abuse lawyer.

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Nursing Home Justice Protects Victims of Sexual Abuse

Residents in nursing homes are often seen as easy targets. An experienced attorney who has in-depth knowledge of many aspects of Colorado law can help protect these victims. Nursing Home Justice doesn’t back down from taking on large nursing home facilities and their insurance companies.

Mac Hester, the founding attorney of Nursing Home Justice, has over 35 years of legal experience and is dedicated to helping victims recover compensation for their losses. He treats every client with the dignity and respect they deserve and will guide you on the path to recovery.

Contact nursing home sexual abuse lawyer Mac Hester today – (303) 775-8128

What Is Sexual Abuse in Disabled Care Facilities?

Sexual abuse of the elderly in a nursing home includes unwanted or non-consensual physical or sexual contact with a resident. This includes sexual contact with patients who cannot give consent due to their confusion, medical condition, or mental incapacity.

Sexual abuse cases in nursing homes may include nursing home sexual assault, rape, or any other type of unwanted touching. No matter how insignificant or minor the touching is, nursing home sexual abuse is illegal.

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Common Types of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

There are many different forms of sexual abuse that a nursing home resident may experience. Some common types of nursing home sexual abuse include:

Unwanted Touching

Unwanted touching occurs when nursing home staff or other residents touch a victim in an unwanted intimate manner. Intimate touching does not have to involve genitalia but may be for the sexual benefit or arousal of the offender.

Sexual Assault & Rape

Sexual assault and rape involves any forced or non-consensual act of sexual penetration — this also includes the use of any objects.

Signs of sexual assault in a nursing home resident may include fear of staff members, bruising or pain of the genitals, or sudden unexplained avoidance of people and social situations. The offender, facility, and multiple other parties may be sued for rape or sexual assault.


Molestation is a term typically used for child sex crimes; however, by common definition, it can apply to the sexual abuse of any person. This may include many different acts, such as touching of private parts, inducement of sexual acts (with or without penetration), and exposure of genitalia.

Sexual Photography

A nursing home resident who is forced to expose themselves for explicit photography is the victim of sexual abuse. Whether the pictures are shared or held privately by the offender, the action of taking such images is illegal.

Forced Nudity

Nursing home residents often require help with their clothing. This should be done in a professional manner as quickly and respectfully as possible. If a resident is forced to remain nude unnecessarily, this may constitute patient abuse.

What Types of Injuries Result from Sexual Assault In Nursing Homes?

Physical, mental, and emotional injuries occur due to nursing home sexual assault. These consequences of mistreatment are long-lasting and can completely change the lives of victims and their families.

Some examples of injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Unexplained STDs
  • Genital infections
  • Bruises on the genital areas, thighs, and breasts
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Torn or blood-stained clothing
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Unexplained falls
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Progressive confusion

Who’s Most at Risk for Sexual Abuse?

Any nursing home resident is at risk for maltreatment from staff and even other residents. However, there are some residents more commonly sexually abused.

Women of advanced years are some of the most common victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes — with the perpetrator often being one of their caregivers. These abused residents are likely to experience untimely deaths at alarming rates if these incidents go unreported.

However, there are sometimes witnesses to these acts of abuse, and their testimony could go a long way in holding liable parties accountable for their actions.

Who’s Liable for Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?

Cases of nursing home sexual abuse may involve multiple liable parties. While an individual staff member or even a resident may be the offender, they are not the only ones who may be held accountable. You need to work with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to determine everyone responsible.

Some parties that could be held responsible include:

  • Perpetrator – The person who actually sexually abused, raped, or sexually assaulted the victim can be held criminally and civilly liable. That means, in addition to criminal charges, the victim can file a lawsuit against them to recover compensation for damages.
  • Nursing Home Staff – Nursing home employees are responsible for ensuring residents are safe. They should monitor interactions between residents and identify any unusual behavior of other staff members.
  • Nursing Home – The nursing home as a whole can be liable for negligence like understaffing, hiring unqualified workers, failure to train, and employing workers with unacceptable criminal backgrounds.
  • Management Company for Nursing Home – Many nursing homes have a management company that hires, trains, and supervises staff and other aspects of the company. They may be negligent in providing training to staff to identify sexual abuse or other similar situations.
  • Nursing Home Chain Entities – Nursing homes are often part of a larger nationwide chain entity. These larger corporations can be held accountable for the negligence of people and facilities within their control.

Warning Signs of Sexual Assault

When a nursing home resident is being sexually abused, there are typical signs that can be identified. Family and loved ones should constantly be on the lookout to protect patients.

Some signs of sexual abuse include:

  • Isolation from family and social interaction
  • Withdrawal from activities
  • Unexplained fear around caregivers
  • Agitation and unexplained anger
  • Abrupt change in mood
  • Odd statements about the actions of caregivers

What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Sexual Abuse

If you suspect a nursing home resident is being sexually abused, you should take several actions right away.

Notify Nursing Home Management

If you know about a sexual abuse situation in a nursing home facility, you should file a report with management or a patient representative. Give them as many details as possible. They must be aware of the situation to make it stop.

Call the Police

If the victim of sexual abuse is in immediate danger or has severe injuries, you should call 911 right away. Report what you believe has happened and any other information you have. The police will conduct an investigation to determine if a crime has occurred. When you call the emergency number, you should also request an ambulance for the victim so they can get medical treatment.

Contact the Proper Authorities

In Colorado, you can report nursing home abuse to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment or your local Adult Protective Services office.

Arrange for Alternative Living Arrangements

If your loved one has been victimized, you need to get them out of the nursing home where they are being abused. You should not leave them in a situation where they can suffer further trauma.

Contact a Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawyer

As soon as you’re able, you should contact an attorney who can begin collecting information that will support your case. It can be difficult to obtain evidence from the nursing home that will be essential in proving negligence.

The Investigation Process & Criminal Charges

When you report nursing home sexual abuse, there will be two stages of the investigation process – a criminal investigation and the civil discovery process.

Criminal Charges & Investigation

The police will complete a report and may arrest the person who is suspected of abusing the resident. A typical criminal investigation involves state-employed officers who specialize in finding forensic evidence and taking statements from witnesses.

They have a lot of power to obtain information quickly with a warrant. However, they are looking for criminal wrongdoing. They are not looking for negligence, which is essential in a civil case.

Civil Discovery Process

A civil personal injury case can be brought against the perpetrator, nursing home, and others for negligence. Their breach of duty to the resident can make them liable for damages. When a nursing home sexual abuse civil lawsuit is filed, your attorney will engage in the discovery process.

Discovery involves obtaining company records, deposing witnesses, and getting information from all parties involved. This process can take much longer than a criminal investigation.

How Nursing Home Justice Can Help You

Every case is unique and needs special attention. Nursing Home Justice does not take on every case that comes through the doors. We select those that we believe in and know we can fight to win. Nursing home abuse attorney Mac Hester can help you recover by:

  • Addressing Your Needs – We know sexual abuse victims and their families have many needs — medical, mental, emotional, and financial. We will listen to your needs and help you achieve your goals.
  • Thorough Investigation – Our lawyers know how to collect evidence necessary to prove sexual abuse and negligence. We will conduct a thorough investigation that will support your case.
  • Maximizing Compensation – While money does not fix everything, it can help you move forward with life and find new solutions. Whether you need to pay for medical bills, counseling, or find a new nursing home facility, the compensation you get can help.