According to Patricia Anne Holcomb and Angela Jourdan, their grandmother, 93 year old Iva Jean Bonds, was sexually assaulted in Evergreen Arvin Healthcare, a nursing home in Southern California. The complaint filed on behalf of Iva details a harrowing evening which is truly horrible in its indications of humanity. May 25, 2013, Iva was sexually assaulted by a male CNA (certified nursing assistant). The assault was so violent that blood pooled in Iva’s vaginal canal.

During the six hours she lay waiting, bleeding internally, she developed blood clots. When Patricia and Angela learned their grandmother was bleeding, they demanded she be sent to the hospital. While there, a surgeon discovered Iva had been raped, and the hospital reported the incident. Sadly, Iva died 18 days after the assault ‘as a result of her injuries’. Evergreen’s staff attempted to cover up the incident by accessing Iva’s medical file without authorization.

Iva’s story, though sad, is not unique. Evergreen has a history of poor patient care, deficient health services, failure to screen staff members, and failure to report incidents of abuse and assault. Patricia and Angela also charge the home with failure to protect their grandmother because the same aide sexually assaulted a male patient just four days before Iva was violently raped.

Though the California Department of Public Health did investigate Iva’s case, they wrote Evergreen a citation and fined the home a mere $20,000 fine. Iva and patients like her are more vulnerable towards predators like the CNA because they are elderly, frail, have poor health, and are nonverbal and immobile, as Iva was. For those who want to prey on the weak, nursing homes are a prime place. This is why it is so important to properly screen staff. As long as there are predatory people in the world, and the authorities refuse to do anything more than slap nursing homes like Evergreen on the wrist with paltry fines, this type of crime, while horrendous, will not be uncommon.

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