A former certified nursing assistant by the name of Luis Gomez has been sentenced to a minimum of 23 years in prison after he was found guilty of raping and physically abusing patients at several nursing homes within North Carolina.
Gomez, by accounts of his neighbors and friends, was liked within the circles he was involved with. He attended Bible study with his neighbors and brought a good attitude to work, leading many to believe he genuinely enjoyed his job. However, his family track record was not as clean. Married 3 times, and known for cheating on his wives, Gomes was known for flirting with many women including his coworkers. Not only was he unfaithful, but had a reputation for having a mean streak. According to a former wife, he had been physically violent toward her and threatened to kill her. Gomez allegedly even bought one of his victims’ perfume and told her that he wanted to marry her.
Gomez’ job had him doing the more intimate parts of nursing care, such as changing diapers, cleaning/bathing patients, and helping them to the bathroom. His consistent claim to this day is that his patients were confused by his actions which were really just to help them. However, one incident in which he locked a patient into a bathroom and forcibly raped her led to the patient reporting his actions to a nurse, who went above her bosses head and contacted the authorities. An investigation into the incident was raised and all the women who had experienced similar treatment decided to come forward.
Six different women who were housed in three separate nursing care facilities accused him of physical and sexual abuse. Gomez’ victims ranged in age, from their fifties into the nineties, but were all disabled in one way or another, and were not able to defend themselves or felt that if they did, Gomez would hurt them. He was also careful to always ensure that his victims were alone. Those that did end up reporting the crimes were shunned and ignored, and the accusations were dismissed as the ramblings of the elderly who did not have a full grasp of the situation. In fact, the nursing director of The Brian Center at the time, Gail Robertson, purposefully ignored and did not report any of the incidents that occurred during her time as director.
According to CNN, several certified nursing assistants have been documented as being able to become certified even with a record of claims of physical and sexual abuse against them. This is because many times these reports are not substantiated, which means that the claims cannot be proven true for various reasons. This was the same situation for Gomez, who had claims against him at other nursing facilities, but because they could not be proven his record was seemingly clean.
This horrifying situation is made worse by the fact that these employees at care facilities cannot be identified as dangerous until it is too late. Nursing home abuse in any form should never be ignored, and those that suspect something is amiss should contact the authorities immediately. If you have a loved one or someone you know in a nursing care facility and suspect abuse, contact KBA Attorneys. With years of experience in the industry, we will be able to give you a case evaluation and walk you through the next steps to find justice for your family.