Justice was recently served in the criminal prosecution of a CNA accused of sexually assaulting four patients at National Health Care in Bristol, VA. James Wright will serve 60 years in prison for the sexual assault of the patients he was responsible for caring for.
Earlier, Mr. Wright entered an Alford plea to the four counts of sexual battery he was charged with. Under the terms of the Alford plea, the convicted person acknowledges that the prosecutors evidence is sufficient for a conviction– yet the accused never actually admits guilt.
In dispensing the 60-year sentence, Circuit Judge Larry Kirksey sentenced Mr. Wright to 20 years less than he could have under the maximum sentencing guidelines. Nonetheless, Judge Kirksey had harsh words for the the defendant.
“This is no doubt an indescribably despicable criminal act, Judge Kirksey said before sentencing. “Certainly, as a certified nurses aide, you understand the position of trust…you were placed in by these women and [their] families.”
Certainly, renegade employees make their way into all types of businesses and maybe cause harm to the company or the other employees. However, when a real deviant– such as James Wright– makes his way into a nursing home and has his way with multiple patients, over an extended period, I think its time to look up the food chain towards management’s oversight of employees.
Thankfully, an investigation by the state licensing board arrived at a similar conclusion and reprimand the former director of nursing and other executives who were working at the facility during the time of these heinous acts.
No matter how many laws we throw at nursing homes obligating them to conduct criminal background checks and screening techniques, it will always remain the responsibility of nursing homes to keep tight reigns on all employees– especially those working with the most susceptible. Hopefully, cases like this will be a wake-up call for all facilities to keep the reigns taught.