Moldy dentures, confined residents lead to indictments

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These dentures are clean, but that word doesn't describe what inspectors allegedly found at a Maryland assisted living facility in March.
These dentures are clean, but that word doesn't describe what inspectors allegedly found at a Maryland assisted living facility in March.

The owner and a worker at a Maryland assisted living facility where inspectors allegedly found moldy dentures resting on a sink and residents — some tied to chairs — locked in their rooms without access to food, water or a bathroom have been indicted on multiple counts of neglect, reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of prescription drugs, according to the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office.

Owner Dione Griffin, 44, and daughter Dijon Lee, 25, who worked at Griffin's Loving Care Assisted Living Facility in Halethorpe, MD, were indicted June 14, the prosecutor announced in a June 22 press release. The grand jury also indicted the elder Griffin on one count of vulnerable adult abuse.

If convicted, both women face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the six counts of vulnerable adult neglect on which they were indicted; five years in prison for each count of reckless endangerment (Dione Griffin was indicted on seven counts, her daughter on six); five years in prison for possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone; and four years in prison for each count of unlawful possession of morphine, tramadol, hydromorphone and oxycodone. All of the drugs are opioids meant to treat pain.

Dione Griffin faces an additional maximum sentence of five years in prison for the abuse count.

The indictment follows a March inspection of the facility prompted by a complaint from a family member of a resident, according to the Baltimore Sun and other media outlets. The facility was licensed for four beds, according to a list of assisted living providers with fewer than 10 beds maintained by the state, but more than three times that number of people were living there, investigators said.

In addition to the confined residents and moldy dentures reported by the Sun, WBALTV.com said that investigators allegedly discovered a locked freezer and refrigerator on the premises, and residents told them that they were hungry and thirsty and were frequently left alone. Investigators also said the facility was understaffed for the number of residents living there and that records were missing for some residents, according to the television station.

All residents were removed from the facility, including one who was taken to the hospital, WBAL said. The home's license was suspended, and the state is in the process of revoking it.

The women could not be reached for comment.

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