Thursday, December 04, 2008

Nursing home abuse and the dad who defends it

Maybe you haven't heard about the Albert Lea, Minnesota female high school students, Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson, who abused residents of the Good Samaritan nursing home in the city but after reading the police report (which follows below) the punishment doesn't seem proper. If my math is correct, the girls have 10(?) charges pending against them with total possible fines amounting to 10 years in jail or $28,000 in fines. We all know how the legal system works so they'll get a fine amounting to too small of a percentage of that to truly teach these "bored and frustrated" girls any sort of lesson. What they'll receive is no more than a slap on the wrist.

The public humiliation, though, of having your names smeared across the internet does amount to something but that comes with the territory of being in the news. These two girls continue to add to the never-ending shame and disappointment that seems to resonate from my old stomping grounds. I'm well aware that cases like this happen all too often and only serve to make nursing homes more depressing than they already are. I shudder to think what the future holds for these girls because even with something like this on your record, they'll still go on to the adult world in some way, shape or form. And before someone says (well, parenting "guru" Maranne Law already did) "Well, it's just kids being kids" I'd like that person thinking that statement to flash back to their teen years and remember if they ever did anything even remotely as dispicable as abusing virtually helpless and frail senior citizens.

And then there's the dad of one of the teens standing up on the "Today Show" defending his daughter in saying that it's just the media blowing the case far out of proportion and that many of the charges are exaggerated. Maybe if you had paid attention to your daughter's actions and the actions of her friends and talked to her from time to time to see what is really going on in her life she wouldn't be the subject of national scrutiny. Face the facts, Michael Larson, you dropped the parenting ball on this play. While a parent usually tends to stand behind their child, this is a time to do so while admitting fault because this seems pretty clear to me. The abuse happened and plenty of other teens working at the Albert Lea Good Samaritan home let the abuse happen and participated in it.


After receiving an initial notice of suspected abuse of elderly resident vulnerable adults suffering from Alzheimer's disease and/or dementia at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home located in Freeborn County Minnesota, on May 1, 2008, and as part of the investigation involving those allegations, Detective Debra Flatness of the Albert Lea Police Department with assistance from Deputy Robert Kindler of the Freeborn County Sheriff's Department conducted an investigation. Present during some the investigation interviews conducted by Detective Flatness were employees of Good Samaritan Society and Jolene Bertelsen, RN, Special Investigator for the Minnesota Department of Health who conducted a separate civil investigation for the Office of Health Facility Complaints.

Based upon the initial information received, the investigation focused on a group of young part-time nursing assistants some of who were directly involved in the abuse and some who knew or observed the abuse, but had failed to report the abuse. The group included: Brianna M. Broitzman, dob: 06/2/1989; Ashton M Larson, dob: 01/14/1990; AMH, dob: 08/01/1990; KNN, dob: 05/18/1990; SLS, dob: 05/05/1991; RMM, dob: 08/31/1990; JMS, dob: 05/18/1990; and MRW, dob: 08/17/1990.

On May 6, 2008, Brianna Broitzman, was invited to come the the Law Enforcement Center in the City Albert Lea, Freeborn County, Minnesota, to be interviewed by Detective Flatness of the Albert Lea Police Department and Deputy Robert Kindler of the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office about suspected abuse of vulnerable adults occurring at the Good Samaritan nursing home. Brianna Broitzman was advised that her coming to the Law Enforcement Center was voluntary and that she was free to leave at any time.

In May 2008, Brianna Broitzman stated that she was told by Ashton Larson that she had spit water on resident GR at the Good Samaritan Center, Albert Lea, Freeborn County, Minnesota. Brianna Broitzman admitted that she and Ashton Larson poked SW in breasts. Brianna Broitzman stated that numerous videos and pictures were taken of residents between the dates of January and April 2008. Brianna Broitzman stated there was a picture of a large bowel movement in a commode on AMH's phone. Brianna Broitzman stated that she saw a video of M.K. singing a song in March 2008 and stated she was with AMH and KNN.

During the ongoing investigation and based upon interviews with other Nursing assistants Detective Flatness obtained additional information and personal observations of Brianna Broitzman's activities and behavior with residents at Good Samaritan Nursing home between January 1, 2008 and May 1, 2008. The persons interviewed stated that "they" began talking among themselves about what they were doing in the nursing home after January 1, 2008. The statements included the following: RMM stated she was friends with Ashton Larson, Brianna Broitzman, KNN, AMH, and JMS. RMM stated they would get together on breaks and at school and talk about their experiences while working at Good Samaritan nursing home. RMM stated the girls would talk and laugh about incidents with the residents. RMM stated that the girls who would tell stories were Ashton Larson, Brianna Broitzman and AMH.

RMM advised that one night between the date January 1, 2008, and May 1, 2008, while she and Brianna Broitzman were putting E.F. to bed Brianna Broitzman stated, "Watch this". She then spit into the resident's mouth. RMM stated that Brianna Broitzman had a cavalier attitude about the residents. RMM stated that Brianna Broitzman said that she would poke residents in the breasts. RMM stated that this was done for fun and not to cause pain. JMS stated that Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson told her about spanking resident C.K.

JMS was told that he would laugh and the girls would keep doing it. They would play with his cane, ride it like a horse, and spank C.K. on the buttocks with it and Ashton Larson admitted that she patted C.K.'s buttocks. JMS stated that the girls would say stuff behind the residents' back and put their glasses on and dance around. She stated girls were just having fun because they were frustrated.

AMH stated that "the girls" started talking about the incidents she realized was abuse around February 2008. AMH advised that Ashton Larson and Brianna Broitzman told her about things they did to residents and that she recalled that KNN was present during the conversations. AMH stated the "girls" were pretty comfortable talking among themselves, but did not talk with others. AMH stated that the abusive activity was confined to certain residents. AMH stated that she had witnessed Ashton Larson and Brianna Broitzman poking a female resident's breasts. AMH stated that Ashton Larson would rub vigorously on residents' peri-areas (genital areas) to sexually arouse them. She recall that Ashton Larson and Brianna Broitzman talked about doing these types of things to residents on four to five occasions with the "girls". AMH stated that she was told by Brianna Broitzman that Ashton Larson inserted her finger into a resident's rectum. Ashton Larson was present during this conversation and did not deny it. AMH stated that Brianna Broitzman put her bare butt in S.W.'s face.

SLS stated that Brianna Broitzman would poke residents in breasts and genitals and laugh. SLS stated that Brianna Broitzman would poke J.J. in breast, tap her on the forehead, and put her fingers in her mouth until she would scream. She stated that she witnessed Brianna Broitzman hit resident RM in the genitals so he would scream in March or April of 2008. SLS stated that Brianna Broitzman would put her gloved hands in the resident's nose and mouth to make them scream because she thought it was funny.

MRW stated that the girls started talking about the incidents with residents at AMH's house and later in the car. MRW stated the girls talked on seven to twelve occasions. MRW stated that they openly discussed things among themselves. She stated the girls were confident they would not get caught because, "residents did not have their minds". MRW was told by Brianna Broitzman that she "hocked a loogie in her throat and spit it into E.F.'s mouth without holding E.F.'s mouth open".

J.S. stated that she heard that Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson spit into a resident's mouth because they were upset that the resident was drooling all over. MRW stated that she was told by Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson that while Ashton Larson and Brianna Broitzman were providing Resident SW's care, Resident SW got angry so they hit her boob. MRW stated that Ashton Larson and Brianna Broitzman poked Resident SW in the breast to get her mad. She stated that Resident SW told them to stop but the girls would just laugh.

MRW stated that Brianna Broitzman, AMH, and KNN stated that they would touch resident KH to make him mad. MRW stated that she was told that resident KH was touched or rubbed by Brianna Broitzman and as a result KH became "hard." MRW stated they were just trying to get a rise out of him, as in sexual teasing.

RW stated that the Nursing Assistants Ashton Larson, Brianna Broitzman, AMH, and KNN would try to make the residents more confused.

MRW then stated the girls would laugh. They did this type of thing as a joke, as something fun to do at work.

KNN stated that Brianna Broitzman would poke residents in the breasts and laugh when they got mad. Stated she believed the resident was OS. KNN stated that she was in the car driving back from Mankato, Minnesota, when Brianna Broitzman was telling the above story.

MRW stated that when the girls, Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson talked about doing cares on residents with Alzheimer's or dementia that they would hit the residents on the breasts or genitals or rub on the breasts or genitals to make the residents mad. MRW stated that resident KH was abused by Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson. MRW advised that they would touch is peri-area or privates to make him mad. KH would get an erection.

In an interview with Detective Flatness Aston Larson acknowledged that she knew that between the date January 1, 2008, and May 1, 2008, Brianna Broitzman had spit into resident EF's mouth at Good Samaritan Nursing Care Facility, Albert Lea, Freeborn County, Minnesota. Ashton Larson also admitted in the interview that that she spit water on resident GR. Ashton Larson also admitted she lay in bed with J.J. who was laying on her back and "I might have done the motion (humping), but she was no where near me". Ashton Larson admitted that AMH and Brianna Broitzman "might" have been with her.


In cheerier southern Minnesota news, the recently-taped Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode from the Albert Lea area airs this Sunday and MinnPics, of course, has a photo of the action coming up later today.


Balou said...

Having been a Nurses Aid in a nursing home, this is no job for teenagers. It should only be held by certified professionals that have finished high school and attended classes for certification. Certification should be more than the mere one or two week course it currently is.

Their actions are horrible but the nursing home administration is at fault too for having teenagers in groups working together. We all know what happens with a group mentality of teenagers.

This makes my blood boil and it happens all too often to our vulnerable senior citizens. It's unforgivable.

Anonymous said...

You know, we may, to some extent, all know what happens as the result of teenage group mentality, but what went on here is so beyond the pale that no one could have anticipated it.

Yes, there should have been a professionally trained adult staff member present while these girls were "helping", but who would have imagined they'd turn out to be the completely sociopathic animals they so obviously are?

The whole story is appalling on so many levels, it's hard to know where to begin.

I'm not entirely sure what's worse -- that these girls are completely devoid of any sense of decency whatsoever, or that the prosecuter seems to be shrugging it all off.

AFAIC, his lackadaisical approach is as heinous as the girls' actions.

His reluctance to push for the greatest punishment allowable by law for these girls speaks to a complete disregard for the lives of the elderly. If these vermin had done this to preschoolers, would he still be categorizing their actions as merely a bunch of teens getting into a little trouble? If he himself or his wife, if he has one, had been repeatedly traumatized and sexually assaulted by this pack of pigs, would he be so quick to turn a blind eye to the seriousness of the matter?

It's a sick, sick world we live in. Just hope you die rich and die young, otherwise you'll be at the mercy of the next generation of heartless, soulless little animals who've been raised by the internet and daddy's credit card.

Sornie said...

If teens want to get involved in the medical world, there's always the option of being a candy striper.

I had never even thought of what the situation would be if these girls had abused preschoolers. That's a great point about how people value those of different ages in this world. Children are seen as a blessing and senior citizens are seen as almost a curse. Truly twisted.

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Jeff said...

This story is sad on so many levels. I agree with Balou though on this one. Teenagers have no business in an unsupervised role of this level.

msc said...

If anyone cares to email Attorney Nelson, here's the address:

Sornie said...

I like the fact that outside sources are looking into this case. Check out for the latest on it.

Lainey-Paney said...

that's just awful.