The Firm You Go to When the 
Stakes Are High

Sexual Abuse in Residential Care/ Group Homes

In December 2018, a comatose woman who was a patient at a facility for chronically ill and disabled adults gave birth to a baby. The birth sparked concerns about sexual abuse at the facility and ultimately led to the arrest of a nurse on charges of rape. After the details of the sexual assault and impregnation of the woman became public, the Arizona facility decided to close the unit where the woman had been living.

Although the details of this story are shocking, it is not an isolated incident. The residents at long term care facilities and group homes are usually among the most vulnerable segments of our population: the sick, young, elderly, and disabled. Read more about nursing home abuse on our “Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawsuits” page. These patients often lack the physical capacity to defend themselves and the mental capacity to report the conduct to authorities. These cases are particularly egregious as the victims of sexual assault can have significant intellectual disabilities because of age, medical conditions or accidents that leave them with little to no awareness of what is happening to them or that the conduct perpetrated against them is criminal and wrong.

Who is Liable for the Abuse?

Sexual assaults can be perpetrated by health aids working in large facilities or health workers in private homes. The facility itself, its employees, or the home health care agency that is responsible for providing employees to private homes can all be held liable for sexual assault. The facilities and agencies that employ health workers are responsible for protecting their patients from harm and ensuring their safety. When a patient is sexually assaulted, the victim may bring a claim under several legal theories. The facility or company that employs health workers can be held liable for negligent hiring if it fails to conduct adequate background checks or it hires employees with criminal records. Liability can also be imposed for negligent supervision of workers, which occurs when workers are not properly managed or the facility does not implement and follow procedures for removal of a preparator once abusive activity is suspected. Finally, the facility is required to report all cases of possible abuse to law enforcement authorities.

Many elderly individuals suffering from moderate to severe dementia may lack the cognitive capacity to provide consent for sexual contact. While their physical appearance may resemble that of an adult, the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease and dementia can render their mental faculties akin to those of a child. Tragically, this vulnerability makes many nursing home residents easy targets for sexual predators, whether they be another resident, a visitor, or even a staff member.

Sexual abuse within elder care facilities often accompanies other forms of mistreatment, including emotional and physical abuse. It is imperative to seek assistance from a knowledgeable attorney in such cases. Taking swift action by involving the authorities can ensure that your elderly loved one is removed from harm's way. Acting promptly can mean the difference between ensuring a happy, healthy existence for your loved one and subjecting them to serious trauma or worse.

Understanding Elderly Sexual Abuse

Definition of Elder Sexual Abuse:

The spectrum of sexual abuse against elders encompasses various offenses. The following actions can constitute sexual abuse if perpetrated against an elder without their consent:

  • Touching or groping of the genitals, breasts, buttocks, or anus
  • Sexual intercourse, including anal and oral penetration (sodomy)
  • Inserting objects or fingers into an elder's vagina or rectum
  • Conducting "medical procedures" on an elder that are medically unnecessary, such as applying creams, enemas, or soaps to their genitalia, breasts, or buttocks
  • Cleansing either internal or external genital areas with harsh chemicals, such as alcohol wipes

Understanding "Hands Off" Sexual Abuse:

Additionally, there are forms of sexual abuse known as "hands off," which do not involve physical contact but still constitute sexual abuse. These include:

  • Forcing an individual to observe others engaged in sexual activities, including pornography
  • Compelling a victim to undress without justification outside of medical or hygiene-related contexts solely for sexual gratification
  • Coercing an elder to disrobe in front of others outside of a medical setting
  • Producing sexually explicit material of the victim without their consent, such as videos or photographs

It is important to know that new laws revising the statute of limitations in New York, New Jersey, and other states now allow survivors of sexual assault to bring claims against their abusers for a specified amount of time regardless of when the assault occurred. For patients in long-term care facilities, whose abuse may not be discovered for years or even decades, the new legislation provides an avenue for redressing claims that would have otherwise been barred under previous laws.

Levy Konigsberg LLP is a nationally recognized law firm that has recovered millions of dollars for victims of sexual abuse. If you or a member of your family has been the victim of sexual assault by a health care worker in a long-term or residential care facility, please contact our lawyers for a free and confidential consultation by calling (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.


Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

Know the Difference

Committed to Doing What's Right
  • Over $3 Billion Won

    We have represented numerous individuals and groups of workers, winning for them multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts.

  • There's No Case Too Big

    Our team has achieved groundbreaking victories in highly complex cases and has gone up against some of the toughest defendants in the country.

  • Trial Attorneys

    Our attorneys excel in the courtroom and are not afraid to bring a case in front of a jury if a fair settlement for the client has not been reached.

  • A Thought Leader in the Industry

    Our firm's knowledge and experience are in high demand, and many news outlets have asked us to share our legal expertise.

  • Access to World Class Resources

    Our experienced attorneys use cutting-edge technology and highly regarded experts to help us achieve the best possible result for our clients.

  • Changing the World for Good

    We not only want to achieve the best possible results for our clients, but we also strive to prevent future harm by changing public health policies.

Thousands of Clients Helped

Hear What They Have to Say
  • Professional, responsive and very good at their jobs.

    “From the first visit to my home, to my last visit to the office to collect my settlement, I was very happy with the services provided by this firm. They are professional, very responsive and very good ...”

    - Lisa Ross
  • They have truly gone above and beyond.

    “I have been beyond pleased how Levy Konigsberg is handling my matter. They answer my questions in a timely matter and when warranted, ease my worries and concerns. They have truly gone above and ...”

    - Anne Fahey
  • I put my Faith and Trust into Corey Stern!

    “Selecting a Law firm to represent me was one of the biggest decisions I've had to make in my life. I put my Faith and Trust into Corey Stern, and he exceeded all my expectations.”

    - Dennis McGowan
  • With this team on my side we came out on top.

    “Levy Konigsberg and team are a group of men and women that give their all, down to the receptionist. I had a case that was almost unbeatable but with this team on my side we came out on top. They keep ...”

    - Angie Garrido
  • Very happy with our settlement.

    “My husband and I were VERY happy with our experience with this firm. They were always caring and really helped us go through this in a very hard time in our lives .We continue to be in touch with the ...”

    - Lori Rosa
  • Wow is all I can say.

    “It has been a few years now but I needed to post this. My dad suffered so much from Mesothelioma. My brother looked into the law and our rights. Unfortunately he died also before anything was done. It ...”

    - Carol N.
  • Their dedication to receive the highest results for their clients was amazing.

    “Working with Levy Koningsberg LLP was a very positive experience. Their professionalism and curiosity was outstanding. I was a pleasure working with this firm. Their dedication to receive the highest ...”

    - Emily DeRogatis
  • Such a great team!

    “The whole team at Levy, Konigsberg LLP have been extremely professional and kind during our most difficult time. They keep you informed during the process, check in often asking if there are any ...”

    - Kevin Kober
  • We definitely got the right law firm!

    “Levy Konigsberg represented my daughter Linda, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma at 16 years old. She endured many surgeries and chemotherapy including HIPEC. She traveled the country seeking ...”

    - Mark Wells
  • Levy Konigsberg continued to help my family fight for the justice my father deserves.

    “Levy Konigsberg was there for my father as soon as he was diagnosed with mesothelioma they helped him get medical treatment in another state that specializes in his condition and even provided housing ...”

    - Stephanie Vitale


Start with a FREE Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.