Operators of Bucks County Nursing Home Charged After Sexual Abuse of Elderly Patients

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SOUTHAMPTON, PA – The operators of a Bucks County nursing home have been charged after not properly handling a resident who was accused of three sexual assault incidents at the home. The state contends General Manager Ashley Harker and Director of Health and Wellness Joy Alfonsi of The Landing of Southampton, a personal care home in Bucks County, failed to report sexual abuse committed by a male resident with dementia on three female residents also suffering from dementia.

“The defendants were responsible for the safety and well-being of the residents in their care. But instead of protecting their residents, they sought to cover up incidents of sexual abuse of residents that occurred under their watch. Had they followed through on the mandated reporting required by law, these assaults would have been prevented. My office will do all we can to ensure they are held responsible for their neglect,” said AG Shapiro.

Shapiro said, following a joint investigation with Detective Jim Schirmer and the Upper Southampton Township Police Department, Harker and Alfonsi have been charged with neglect of a care-dependent person, recklessly endangering another person, criminal conspiracy, and failure to report abuse. These charges come as part of a larger investigation by the 47th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury into potential abuse of care home residents.

“Staff members reported three separate incidents of sexual abuse committed by the same male resident and involving three different female resident victims to Harker and Alfonsi on July 22, 24, and 26. All the residents lived in The Landing of Southampton’s memory care unit due to suffering from dementia,” Shapiro said today. “After receiving each of the three separate reports of the abuse, Alfonsi and Harker assured the staff that they would handle the situation and therefore the witnesses should not document or report the incidents themselves. Despite these assurances, neither Harker nor Alfonsi reported any of the three incidents of abuse to law enforcement, protective services, or the PA Department of Human Services as required by law.”

The state says Harker and Alfonsi’s failure to immediately report the first allegation of abuse allowed the male resident to remain in the memory care unit with insufficient safeguards where he continued to sexually abuse female residents.