Report says Hill City care center resident was beaten by staff member weeks before death

January 26, 2019 05:38 PM

An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health has concluded a man living in a Hill City assisted living facility died after being hospitalized for a brain bleed several weeks after he was struck "in the head and face" by one staff member while another held him down.

A third staff member was said to have watched the abuse and failed to intervene or report it.


RELATED: MDH announces 90-day suspension of Hill City assisted living facility

The investigation concluded Chappy's Golden Shores did not report the incident, or take steps to ensure the abuse would not reoccur.

"No action was taken by the facility to prevent further occurrences of abuse," an investigative public report read. "In fact, facility leadership promoted a culture that encouraged repeated occurrences of abuse by discouraging staff from reporting suspected maltreatment, falsifying records, and failing to train staff to the needs of the client."

The Associated Press reported Tricia Olson, the owner of the facility, denied that an assault occurred and said the state's findings are based on false statements made by disgruntled former employees.

The facility was closed after state regulators suspended its license last year.

A release then said the alleged violations at Chappy's Golden Shores are "deemed to pose an imminent risk to the health and safety of the clients served by this home care provider."

The MDH also alleges two staff members at the facility had sexual relations with a client who received comprehensive home care services for diagnoses that included quadriplegia and polysubstance abuse.

However, the report notes both staff members denied the allegation.

"The client was interviewed and denied the allegations," the report read. "However, the client previously admitted the allegations to several staff members shortly after the alleged incidents occurred. The client did admit to being very intoxicated at the time of one of the alleged sexual encounters.

"Those interviewed said the client would likely lie to investigators because she was embarrassed and ashamed for engaging in sexual relationships with staff," the report continues. "Moreover, interviews revealed facility staff had recently threatened the client and her current boyfriend in an effort to coerce them into not talking to investigators."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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