Hidden camera leads to resident assault charges for assisted living CNA

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A Minnesota certified nursing assistant is scheduled to be arraigned on assault charges March 14 after a hidden camera reportedly caught her repeatedly abusing a resident of the senior living community where she worked.

Cecilia Chebii Soi, 55, was charged with two counts of assault Feb. 7 for incidents said to have occurred on three separate occasions in the memory care area of the assisted living section of The Glenn Hopkins, Hopkins, MN. According to a police report obtained by McKnight's Senior Living, video shows Soi striking the resident in the head and back with her hand, elbow and a hair brush and also pulling the resident up from the floor by her hair. Police said that the incidents, which Soi denied, were captured on a camera hidden in the resident's room by her daughter after the daughter saw unexplained bruising on her mother. The family then shared the video with the Hopkins Police Department.

“I cannot overstate that this incident is completely contrary to the clear and long-standing values of our organization and it is deeply offensive to us as people,” Glenn Hopkins Campus Administrator Lori McGuire wrote in a Feb. 12 letter to residents and family members that was provided to McKnight's Senior Living. The community has apologized to the resident and her family, she said, “and shared with them how profoundly saddened and disturbed we are by this incident.”

Soi was fired and has been banned from the campus, according to McGuire. Additionally, The Glenn Hopkins has interviewed and assessed the other residents in the unit where the alleged abuse occurred, will review with staff members its procedures for identifying and reporting suspected maltreatment, and will examine its hiring, training and supervisory practices, McGuire said.

The community also has reported the incident to the Minnesota Department of Health, and McGuire invited residents and family members to contact her directly about the case and any related concerns.

On the charge of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, Soi faces up to a year in prison and a $3,000 fine if found guilty. On the charge of fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, she faces a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if found guilty.

Spurred by reported incidents of abuse, neglect and theft, legislators in at least two states this year have introduced bills that would require assisted living communities to grant resident requests for monitoring equipment in their rooms. H.B. 124 in Utah, which applies only to assisted living communities, has passed in the state House of Representatives, and an amended version just passed in the Senate today; the bill has been returned to the House for reconciliation. In Missouri, three bills that cover residential care, assisted living, intermediate care and skilled nursing facilities, as well as homes for veterans, have been introduced in the state House of Representatives but have not been assigned to committee.

Five states — Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington — currently have laws requiring nursing homes to grant resident requests to use surveillance equipment in resident living areas. Texas' 2001 law was amended in 2003 to also apply to assisted living.

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