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Ohio Elder Abuse

Ohio elder abuse is a crime, right?

Elder abuse is not a crime.

Ohio elder abuse is a concept and in certain cases it can be a process.  When certain things line up, a crime might be found.

Ohio elder abuse as a concept

When someone who is elderly, disabled or infirm suffers at the hands of another, we think of this as "abuse".  "Abuse" is not a crime.

Ohio elder abuse as a process

Often, elder abuse is a process.

Example one:  Someone in the life of an elderly person gains their confidence and uses their trust to bilk the elderly person out of money or property.

Example two:  Someone is paid to care for an elderly person.  To the caregiver, the elderly person is not the client.  The caregiver isn't being paid by the elderly person.  The elderly person then suffers from lack of care.

Ohio elder abuse as a crime

When the abuse violates the law, you get a crime.  Easy, right?  No, it is not that easy.  Every crime has an accompanying mental state that must be present in order to convict the wrongdoer of the crime.  For example, in order to steal, you must have a "knowing" state of mind.  A person must "with purpose to deprive the owner of certain property, knowingly obtain control over that property without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent."

In order to find your wrongdoer guilty of theft, the wrongdoer must knowingly steal.

The police and prosecutors are critical allies in elder abuse

In order to steal from an elderly person, the local police department is the key to allowing the thief to get away with the thefts.  If the police, prosecutors and courts won't attempt a prosecution on the basis that the thief did not know the elderly person was incompetent, then the police and prosecutors become the thief's best friends.

Examples:  Preying on the elderly

Adult Protective Services - APS

I need help, and ...

I'm elderly     I know someone who is elderly