Alzheimer’s Center aide indicted for abuse of elderly patient who later died

A former worker in the Wood Glen Alzheimer’s Community in Miami Twp. was indicted Thursday for beating an elderly patient who died two months later.

Vanesha A. Rice, 24, was indicted by a grand jury for a Jan. 25, 2019, incident of patient abuse, a fourth-degree felony. Rice, of Dayton, has been issued a summons to appear June 6. No attorney is listed for Rice in court records.

Photos provided by the family of John D. Sexton, of Germantown, showed bruising to both sides of Sexton’s face. Medical reports indicated bones around Sexton’s eyes were fractured, according to Sexton’s attorney.

RELATED: Photos show injuries suffered by now-deceased local Alzheimer’s patient

“The family is relieved the criminal justice system is taking this abuse of an elderly person seriously,” Sexton family attorney Craig Matthews said Thursday. “However, the nursing home also must be held fully accountable for what their employee did, and we intend to make sure that happens.”

A statement to police by Rice provided to Sexton’s family refers to the employee being “overworked and tired” and that she “back handed” Sexton “trying to protect myself.”

Rice previously was not named because she had not been formally charged.

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Her statement later was modified to say she hit Sexton twice with a closed fist, according to an Ohio Department of Health document.

The Ohio Department of Health report indicates Rice worked at Wood Glen at 3800 Summit Glen Dr. from Oct. 30, 2018, until Jan. 25, 2019, and that she was in good standing with the Nurse Aide Registry.

Rice’s statement to police — dated Feb. 28, more than a month after the incident — said Sexton became combative and was swinging wildly at her, and she back-handed him to protect herself. Rice was terminated that same day, according to the state report.

RELATED: Coroner: Alzheimer’s patient with serious injuries died naturally

“I am so sorry because he didn’t deserve that,” Rice’s statement read. “I was overworked and tired and made a mistake.” She also said she “didn’t mean to hurt him at all” and that she’s “not a monster.”

A March 22 Ohio Dept. of Health Deficiency Report found that Wood Glen “failed to ensure a resident was free from staff to resident physical abuse during the provision of care.”

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