After ignoring two bench warrants and months on the run, Pennsylvania authorities have captured Henrietta Sprual, an self-admitted elder abuser. Sprual pleaded guilty to multiple charges of elder abuse including: simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, possession of and instrument of crime and making false statements to authorities in connection to an incident where she beat an Alzheimer’s patient she was responsible for caring for at the Arden Court assisted living facility.
An investigation into the incident revealed Sprual struck the elderly man six to eight times with a belt. Prosecutors have photographs of the man’s bruises on his arms, elbow, shoulder, knee and thigh. The bruises were so severe, an imprint of the buckle could be seen.
Sprual’s confession comes after she told authorities the man found the belt in the nurses station and was ‘out of control’ swinging the belt around and striking himself. A forensic pathologist advised authorities that the man’s injuries were not self-inflicted and it was obvious force was used to inflict them.
“I’ll know where you are now,” Montgomery County President Judge Richard J. Hodgson told Sprual as he revoked her bail and ordered her held in jail until the sentencing hearing. Sprual faces a possible sentence of three to seven years in prison.
Photographing Nursing Home Injuries
This case highlights the importance of taking photographs as soon as feasible of both the injured person as well as any injury causing instrumentality. Many times nursing home residents are physically unable to describe a situation involving nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect. Photographing the injury provides valuable evidence for both criminal and civil cases.
For laws related to Pennsylvania nursing homes, look here.
Convicted Elder Abuser Captured By Authorities, The Times Herald, February 4, 2009