Pigeon Forge Staff Members Face Prison Following Sexual Abuse of Elderly Residents

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Two former workers at a Pigeon Forge nursing home have been sentenced to two years in prison following the revelation of sexual abuse through taking photos of partially nude elderly residents.  April Longmire, 37 and Mary Ann Burgess, 52 were sentenced on January 19th after pleading guilty in 2010 to four counts of health care abuse each. (learn about Brown Chiari, Buffalo injury attorneys)

The abuse was uncovered when one of the certified nursing assistants lost her cell phone, which was turned in to the nursing home.  Administrators of the facility found the pictures while trying to determine who the phone belonged to.  The prosecutor in the case stated that it was believed the women committed these acts for “pleasure and excitement”.  Longmire and Burgess were indicted in September of 2009 following investigations in which it was determined that the abuse had been going on since 2007.  The Pigeon Forge Care and Rehabilitation Center is where the abuse took place.

Many of the pictures were taken of residents who suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s.  The women were responsible for feeding, changing and dressing the severely disabled adults.  Some of the photos included a man sitting naked on a toilet with beads around his neck, an elderly woman lying on her bed wearing nothing but a diaper, and a totally naked elderly male resident lying in the floor.

Both women were terminated immediately after the abuse was discovered, and are banned from working in any type of health care facility in the future.  Longmire and Burgess will report to the Sevier County jail on February 19th to begin serving their two year sentences, which is the maximum punishment allowed by law.

Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including physical, mental and sexual.  The degrading acts carried out by these women who were supposed to be caring for the residents is blatantly unacceptable.

If you fear that your elderly loved one is being subjected to any type of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or elderly care facility, contact the nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Brown Chiari.