A Somerset woman has pleaded guilty in a case involving the abuse on a disabled adult in her care.
Ashley N. Grimes, 23, appeared before Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette on Thursday -- pleading guilty to one count of knowingly abusing or neglecting an adult, a Class C felony.
According to a news release from the Office of Kentucky Attorney General, which prosecuted the case through the Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse, Grimes acknowledged the abuse of a resident at the CAKY Somerset in Pulaski County, where she worked as a direct care professional. On July 28, 2018, Grimes sat on the victim while the victim was on the floor.
In exchange for her guilty plea, the Commonwealth has agreed to dismiss a second count Grimes had been initially charged with when the local grand jury indicted her back in March. The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Lauren Coltrane, is also recommending a sentence of seven years -- which is to be probated after Grimes serves 30 days in jail. The plea agreement also requires Grimes to be placed on the Kentucky Caregiver Misconduct Registry.
On Thursday, Grimes' attorney Larry Whitaker asked Judge Burdette if it would be possible for Grimes to be on "work release" for her period of incarceration but that request was denied due to the felony nature of the case. The judge scheduled her sentencing hearing for July 18.
Pending final sentencing, Grimes is free on bond.
"I am proud of the investigators and prosecutors that secured justice in this case," Attorney General Andy Beshear stated. "Not only will the defendant serve jail time for her actions, she will be listed on our state's caregiver misconduct registry."
This case was investigated by the Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of the Kentucky Attorney General's Office along with the Department for Community Based Services, Adult Protective Services. Over the past three years, the division's work has contributed to more than 60 convictions related to Medicaid provider fraud or patient abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The attorney general's tip line for reporting allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation in Medicaid facilities is 877-ABUSE TIP (877-228-7384).