Nurse Sex Video Prompts Elder Abuse Investigation & Nurses’ Licences are Suspended

When news hit yesterday about Russel O. Torralba, one of two male registered nurses being under investigation and suspended for elder abuse, Care Placement wasn’t altogether surprised. Disturbing videos surfaced that show Torralba and Alfredo V. Ruiz apparently engaging in sex acts with each other while at the bedside of a 98-year-old bedridden stroke patient under their care, according to state officials on Tuesday.

The graphic videos appear to show the two men, both wearing blue nurses’ scrubs, fondling each other while in the female patients room. One of the men can be seen putting the woman’s hand down his pants while both men sexually gratified each other.

The woman’s daughter went through AMS Home Care Solutions in February 2011 to hire these two 12-hour shift registered nurses at a rate of $1,300 a day to provide her with in-home-care after her mother suffered right-side paralysis from a stroke leaving her unable to speak although still aware of her surroundings, according to the family’s attorney William M. Berman.

Family members grew concerned that their mother was not being properly cared for and their concerns were substantiated after viewing video from security cameras that had been installed in the woman’s home years earlier, Berman said. “What they saw was horrific,” said Berman, who specializes in elder abuse lawsuits. “These acts are unfathomable.”

Berman was hired by the woman’s daughter to sue AMS, Torralba and Ruiz for alleged fraud, elder abuse and negligent supervision. The suit was filed in June in San Diego Superior Court and is set for trial Jan. 14, Berman said. “It’s not about the money, it’s about dignity and accountability, to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Berman said.

The family filed a complaint with state Consumer Affairs in April 2011. State spokesman Heimerich said an administrative law judge ordered a permanent suspension of Ruiz’s and Torralba’s nursing licenses on Nov 14.

Care Placement’s experience with Russel Torralba when he operated a residential care home for the elderly in San Diego called Golden Touch Residential Care left us with a strong sense that he was a “shady” individual and not a person we’d want to have an association with. This elder abuse investigation confirms that, and San Diego’s Channel 10 News made reference to it in their news segment. We stopped referring our clients to Torralba back in 2009 and promptly removed his care home from our website.

Care Placement’s local presence in San Diego since 2000 gives us the unique advantage over other referral services. If you have any concerns about a care provider, please give us a call at (619) 660-8814. We will share what we know, what Community Care Licensing has in their records, and what families that have loved ones there are saying.

Source: Pauline Repard of U-T San Diego

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