Last Wednesday, a former nursing aide was sentenced to prison for forcing an elderly woman in a Scranton, Pennsylvania, nursing home back to her room.
Lackawanna County Court Judge Vito Geroulo sentenced Joshua Wegielewski, 24, to three months to a year in the Lackawanna County Prison for grabbing Joan Drewes by her wrists and forcing her back into her room and holding the door closed, leaving the woman with bruises on her arms, according to thetimes-tribune.com.
A criminal complaint was drafted against a second defendant, Catherine Cordaro of Dickson City by the district attorney’s office, but Cordaro was never arrested because she was in a coma at the time, Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Tierney told thetimes-tribune.com. The woman’s attorneys told prosecutors that Cordaro is not yet medically cleared to face the charges. The office has not decided whether to file the charges against her, according to Ms. Tierney.
Ms. Drewes sometimes packs her belongings and tries to leave the nursing home, Gardens of Green Ridge, an official of the county’s Area Agency on Aging testified during the preliminary hearing in January. Mr. Wegielewski apologized to Ms. Drewes and her family in court last Wednesday, saying he never intended to harm anybody. Mr. Wegielewski’s lawyer said his client was inexperienced and lacked the proper training to handle the situation, thetimes-tribune.com reports.
Judge Geroulo said the job at the senior home required a “large amount of patience and understanding” to work with the “vulnerable” people there. “The burden is on you to defuse the situation,” he said to the defendant. Mr. Wegielewski agreed to a stiffer sentence for the charge of disorderly conduct – a misdemeanor – in exchange for a more serious charge, according to thetimes-tribune.com.