A case being handled by Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm was featured on the front page of the Star Tribune this morning, February 19, 2014. An 89-year-old woman, with mild dementia, was raped in her bed at her Edgewood Vista Senior Living Facility home in January, 2013. The perpetrator, 30-year-old Andrew Merzwski, entered the victim’s room and gave her narcotics that he knew would make her “mentally incapacitated.” After giving the victim narcotics she invited Merzwski to watch a movie with her and he then raped her.
After the events took place the victim notified the Hermantown police and Edgewood’s faculty staff. The victim did not receive any immediate treatment for the incident that occurred. Instead, the victim was doubted by Edgewood’s staff and was placed in a mental health unit for three days against her wishes. Because of the victim’s mild dementia, the facility doubted the woman’s credibility and did not treat the rape as if it had actually happened.
While the victim was locked in the mental health unit, Merzwski admitted to police that he raped the victim after giving her narcotics. “She was doubted until investigators found evidence,” says the Star Tribune. “This is horrendous,” said Mark Kosieradzki, “A vulnerable woman is strong enough to come forward and tell people she’s raped, and then she’s responded to with disbelief and locked up.”
When the victim was sent back to Edgewood (several days after the incident), she would barricade the door of her apartment with her electric scooter so that staff could not enter her room. The victim was not once notified of Merzwski’s termination. The victim’s daughter moved her into an apartment in the Twin Cities and they are seeking punitive damages from Merzwski, Edgewood Vista and two administrators mentioned in the lawsuit. The case is scheduled to be tried starting May 6, 2014.
Merzwski pleaded guilty in November to third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is sentenced to 53 months in prison and will be registered as a predatory sex offender for 10 years.
For the full story on the Star Tribune and more articles about this story check out the links below:
The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care, including the failure to protect vulnerable adults from sexual abuse. If your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.