Deficiencies in assisted living homes to be addressed

This is an update to a previous blog post.

In response to a three-part series by The San Diego Union Tribune, lawmakers have pledged to take action and ramp up efforts so the area’s assisted living home do not fall short.

The findings from the investigation, which was done by the U-T in conjunction with the CHCF Center for Health Reporting at USC, shocked legislators. It showed that people accused of abuse and neglect are rarely prosecuted, and the maximum fines are staggeringly low.

It is inexcusable that people who abuse and neglect those that they are supposed to be caring for are not being properly prosecuted. Thankfully it has now been brought to the attention of lawmakers. This can pave the way for stronger legislation and action to protect those who are being harmed.

Elder abuse is rarely investigated

Elder abuse and sexual assault are rarely investigated at assisted living homes in California.

There are about 12,000 complaints each year, but members of law enforcement have referred only 82 to state prosecutors as cases since 2002.

This raises serious issues concerning the integrity of the Department of Social Services and their regulatory system. At the same time, there have been examples of administrators that operate and staff that work at these senior care facilities who have not served the public well. These may be isolated cases, but it strains credulity there are not sufficient safeguards employed to prevent the number and frequency of injuries and tragedies.


Hotel Sex Assault Suspect to Stand Trial

A man faces seven felony charges for allegedly beating and sexually assaulting a female housekeeping employee in San Diego. The suspect will stand trial on charges which include three counts of rape by force. According to the report, the man attacked the 54-year-old woman when she was cleaning an empty hotel room.

After the attack, the suspect allegedly fled on foot, but he was arrested three days later. If convicted, the man will face up to 450 years to life in prison. The woman testified at the preliminary hearing and detailed the events that took place.  She stated the man struck her in the head, left her unconscious, and raped her multiple times.

Crime lab personnel identified the man as a prime suspect after DNA linked him to the attack. The suspect is believed to have been connected to another reported sexual assault that took place in October.

Victims Stabbed, Sexually Assaulted During Mall Hostage Situation – At least 14 people were escorted from the Nordstrom Rack early Friday by LAPD SWAT members (Sam Spital)

Commentary by San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer Sam Spital:

“On Friday, January 11, 2013, the NBC Channel 4 online news described a sexual assault and non-life threatening stabbing at approximately 11:00 p.m. Thursday night at the Nordstrom Rack in the Los Angeles Promenade Mall where more than a dozen individuals were taken hostage. At the time the article was published, the Swat and members of the homicide and robbery division of the LAPD were still searching for at least two possibly armed assailants in the neighboring community of Culver City.

What no doubt began as an opportunity to be out shopping on a Thursday night has left far too many patrons and shoppers scared, feeling troubled and unsafe at a popular Mall in the greater Los Angeles area. The reporter did not reveal any other details in the story such as the number of similar crimes in the same location, other violent crimes in the greater Los Angeles community as well as crime trends during the past 12 months. It appears no security officers, Nordstrom employees or Mall management were interviewed as well. It is fair to say there are a growing number of violent crimes and the public must be vigilant of their surroundings no matter where they are.”

–Sam Spital

Man pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting unconscious teen in canyon (Sam Spital)


“KFMB Channel 8 TV News on December 3, 2012 wrote an account of an 18 year old man who was accused of having sex with a 16 year old teenager who passed out after binge drinking, who pled not guilty to felony charges of sexual penetration of an intoxicated person. Apparently, the victim was unconscious until the next morning at about 10:00 a m.  There were three other suspects involved in the assault, two boys aged 17 and one girl age 14, each of whom are  in Juvenile Court facing detention hearings. It was reported all of the individuals knew each other, went to the same high school and lived in the same neighborhood.

The reporter did not seek any further information, so it is unclear what the defense posture will be. The adult in the group faces State Prison for up to eight years.”

Settlement with victim of disgraced officer approved by City Council (Sam Spital)


“A former SDPD Officer previously convicted of felony and misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, bribery and assault and battery by a police officer and sentenced for nine years in State Prison was reported on November 14, 2012 in the CBS online news to have been the perpetrator to several women victims, one of whom received a nearly ¾ million dollar settlement approved by the San Diego City Council. Among other chilling facts, this particular victim told about the officer stating he would let her go without a citation for a vehicular violation ‘if she showed her breasts and let him put his hand down her pants,’ at which point the former officer reached into her pants and touched her private parts. This traffic stop at 2:00 a.m. no doubt resulted in severe emotional distress to the victim and she will likely be scarred for a very long time. On the other hand, the former officer’s career in law enforcement is over and he no doubt regrets these improprieties; it is hoped he will consider his actions and strive to have remorse and rehabilitation for his crimes.”


SDPD captain’s son pleads not guilty to assault, sexual battery charges (Sam Spital)

“The San Diego Police Department Captain’s son, who is 23 years old, was charged with seven counts of misdemeanor assault, sexual battery and vandalism as reported in the Channel 8 CBS online news October 11, 2012. The defendant’s blood alcohol was twice the legal limit for driving.
This should be a lesson that there are unexpected consequences of drinking, including that which may not have been intended &/or characteristic of one’s normal behavior. The defendant is fortunate he did not get into a car and drive into another vehicle and/or pedestrian, causing injury or death to himself or another person.

The defense will likely seek treatment for alcohol abuse and rehabilitation.”

SAM SPITAL, Criminal Lawyer

Boy accused in transit sex assaults

“Published in the October 8, 2012 online edition of the UT San Diego, it was reported that a 15 year old juvenile was arrested and taken into custody for a series of sexual assaults on women who had boarded a local transit bus and later exited on their way to their destination. The suspect was charged with false imprisonment, indecent exposure and felony sexual assaults. At least one of the incidents took place around noon and apparently began September 28th. Just two days after Crime Stoppers published the facts of the most recent offense the boy was identified and arrested by Deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

It is possible the District Attorney will charge the suspect as an adult. Nonetheless, psychological testing and counseling are critical to help this individual deal with his aberrant and unlawful behavior, as well as complete lack of respect for others. It is hoped the private attorney that is retained or the Public Defender’s Office will seek necessary and appropriate care and treatment because detention or incarceration alone is usually not an effective deterrent for sex crimes.”SAM SPITAL, CRIMINAL LAWYER

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