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Elder Abuse and Elder Financial Exploitation Statutes

The federal government, states, commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia all have laws designed to protect older adults from elder abuse and guide the practice of adult protective services agencies, law enforcement agencies, and others. These laws vary considerably from state to state.
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Citation Statute
Civil Financial Exploitation
Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 74.34.020  (2016)

TITLE 74.  PUBLIC ASSISTANCE 

CHAPTER 74.34.  ABUSE OF VULNERABLE ADULTS

§ 74.34.020. Definitions

  (6) "Financial exploitation" means the illegal or improper use, control over, or withholding of the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult by any person or entity for any person's or entity's profit or advantage other than for the vulnerable adult's profit or advantage.

"Financial exploitation" includes, but is not limited to:

      (a) The use of deception, intimidation, or undue influence by a person or entity in a position of trust and confidence with a vulnerable adult to obtain or use the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult for the benefit of a person or entity other than the vulnerable adult;

      (b) The breach of a fiduciary duty, including, but not limited to, the misuse of a power of attorney, trust, or a guardianship appointment, that results in the unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult for the benefit of a person or entity other than the vulnerable adult; or

      (c) Obtaining or using a vulnerable adult's property, income, resources, or trust funds without lawful authority, by a person or entity who knows or clearly should know that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to the release or use of his or her property, income, resources, or trust funds.


  (10) “Incapacitated person” means a person who is at a significant risk of personal or financial harm under RCW 11.88.010(1) (a), (b), (c), or (d).

(17) "Vulnerable adult" includes a person:

      (a) Sixty years of age or older who has the functional, mental, or physical inability to care for himself or herself; or

      (b) Found incapacitated under chapter 11.88 RCW; or

      (c) Who has a developmental disability as defined under RCW 71A.10.020; or

      (d) Admitted to any facility; or

      (e) Receiving services from home health, hospice, or home care agencies licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW; or

      (f) Receiving services from an individual provider; or

      (g) Who self-directs his or her own care and receives services from a personal aide under chapter 74.39 RCW.

Civil Elder Abuse
Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 74.34.___ through 74.34.902 (2017)

Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 74.34.020  (2017)

Title 74  Public Assistance  Chapter 74.34  Abuse of Vulnerable Adults

    (1) "Abandonment" means action or inaction by a person or entity with a duty of care for a vulnerable adult that leaves the vulnerable person without the means or ability to obtain necessary food, clothing, shelter, or health care.

     (2) "Abuse" means the willful action or inaction that inflicts injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment on a vulnerable adult. In instances of abuse of a vulnerable adult who is unable to express or demonstrate physical harm, pain, or mental anguish, the abuse is presumed to cause physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. Abuse includes sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, and personal exploitation of a vulnerable adult, and improper use of restraint against a vulnerable adult which have the following meanings:         (a) "Sexual abuse" means any form of nonconsensual sexual conduct, including but not limited to unwanted or inappropriate touching, rape, sodomy, sexual coercion, sexually explicit photographing, and sexual harassment. Sexual abuse also includes any sexual conduct between a staff person, who is not also a resident or client, of a facility or a staff person of a program authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW, and a vulnerable adult living in that facility or receiving service from a program authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW, whether or not it is consensual.         (b) "Physical abuse" means the willful action of inflicting bodily injury or physical mistreatment. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, striking with or without an object, slapping, pinching, choking, kicking, shoving, or prodding.         (c) "Mental abuse" means a willful verbal or nonverbal action that threatens, humiliates, harasses, coerces, intimidates, isolates, unreasonably confines, or punishes a vulnerable adult. Mental abuse may include ridiculing, yelling, or swearing.         (d) "Personal exploitation" means an act of forcing, compelling, or exerting undue influence over a vulnerable adult causing the vulnerable adult to act in a way that is inconsistent with relevant past behavior, or causing the vulnerable adult to perform services for the benefit of another.         (e) "Improper use of restraint" means the inappropriate use of chemical, physical, or mechanical restraints for convenience or discipline or in a manner that: (i) Is inconsistent with federal or state licensing or certification requirements for facilities, hospitals, or programs authorized under chapter 71A.12 RCW; (ii) is not medically authorized; or (iii) otherwise constitutes abuse under this section.

   (7) "Financial exploitation" means the illegal or improper use, control over, or withholding of the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult by any person or entity for any person's or entity's profit or advantage other than for the vulnerable adult's profit or advantage. "Financial exploitation" includes, but is not limited to:         (a) The use of deception, intimidation, or undue influence by a person or entity in a position of trust and confidence with a vulnerable adult to obtain or use the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult for the benefit of a person or entity other than the vulnerable adult;         (b) The breach of a fiduciary duty, including, but not limited to, the misuse of a power of attorney, trust, or a guardianship appointment, that results in the unauthorized appropriation, sale, or transfer of the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult for the benefit of a person or entity other than the vulnerable adult; or         (c) Obtaining or using a vulnerable adult's property, income, resources, or trust funds without lawful authority, by a person or entity who knows or clearly should know that the vulnerable adult lacks the capacity to consent to the release or use of his or her property, income, resources, or trust funds.

  (16) "Neglect" means (a) a pattern of conduct or inaction by a person or entity with a duty of care that fails to provide the goods and services that maintain physical or mental health of a vulnerable adult, or that fails to avoid or prevent physical or mental harm or pain to a vulnerable adult; or (b) an act or omission by a person or entity with a duty of care that demonstrates a serious disregard of consequences of such a magnitude as to constitute a clear and present danger to the vulnerable adult's health, welfare, or safety, including but not limited to conduct prohibited under RCW 9A.42.100.

Criminal Elder Abuse
Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.42.020

(1) A parent of a child, the person entrusted with the physical custody of a child or dependent person, a person who has assumed the responsibility to provide to a dependent person the basic necessities of life, or a person employed to provide to the child or dependent person the basic necessities of life is guilty of criminal mistreatment in the first degree if he or she with criminal negligence, as defined in RCW 9A.08.010, causes great bodily harm to a child or dependent person by withholding any of the basic necessities of life.

(2) Criminal mistreatment in the first degree is a class B felony.

https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.42...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.42.010

(1) "Basic necessities of life" means food, water, shelter, clothing, and medically necessary health care, including but not limited to health-related treatment or activities, hygiene, oxygen, and medication.

(2)(a) "Bodily injury" means physical pain or injury, illness, or an impairment of physical condition; (b) "Substantial bodily harm" means bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part; (c) "Great bodily harm" means bodily injury which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ.

(3) "Child" means a person under eighteen years of age.

(4) "Dependent person" means a person who, because of physical or mental disability, or because of extreme advanced age, is dependent upon another person to provide the basic necessities of life. A resident of a nursing home, as defined in RCW 18.51.010, a resident of an adult family home, as defined in RCW 70.128.010, and a frail elder or vulnerable adult, as defined in *RCW 74.34.020(13), is presumed to be a dependent person for purposes of this chapter.

(5) "Employed" means hired by a dependent person, another person acting on behalf of a dependent person, or by an organization or governmental entity, to provide to a dependent person any of the basic necessities of life. A person may be "employed" regardless of whether the person is paid for the services or, if paid, regardless of who pays for the person’s services.

(6) "Parent" has its ordinary meaning and also includes a guardian and the authorized agent of a parent or guardian.

(7) "Abandons" means leaving a child or other dependent person without the means or ability to obtain one or more of the basic necessities of life.

(8) "Good samaritan" means any individual or group of individuals who: (a) Is not related to the dependent person; (b) voluntarily provides assistance or services of any type to the dependent person; (c) is not paid, given gifts, or made a beneficiary of any assets valued at five hundred dollars or more, for any reason, by the dependent person, the dependent person’s family, or the dependent person’s estate; and (d) does not commit or attempt to commit any other crime against the dependent person or the dependent person’s estate.

http://leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/RCWSelectedTitles/Do...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Wash. Rev. Code §  9A.44.010

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Sexual intercourse" (a) has its ordinary meaning and occurs upon any penetration, however slight, and (b) Also means any penetration of the vagina or anus however slight, by an object, when committed on one person by another, whether such persons are of the same or opposite sex, except when such penetration is accomplished for medically recognized treatment or diagnostic purposes, and (c) Also means any act of sexual contact between persons involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another whether such persons are of the same or opposite sex.

(2) "Sexual contact" means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party or a third party.

(3) "Married" means one who is legally married to another, but does not include a person who is living separate and apart from his or her spouse and who has filed in an appropriate court for legal separation or for dissolution of his or her marriage.

(4) "Mental incapacity" is that condition existing at the time of the offense which prevents a person from understanding the nature or consequences of the act of sexual intercourse whether that condition is produced by illness, defect, the influence of a substance or from some other cause.

(5) "Physically helpless" means a person who is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.

(6) "Forcible compulsion" means physical force which overcomes resistance, or a threat, express or implied, that places a person in fear of death or physical injury to herself or himself or another person, or in fear that she or he or another person will be kidnapped.

(7) "Consent" means that at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact there are actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.

(8) "Significant relationship" means a situation in which the perpetrator is: (a) A person who undertakes the responsibility, professionally or voluntarily, to provide education, health, welfare, or organized recreational activities principally for minors; (b) A person who in the course of his or her employment supervises minors; or (c) A person who provides welfare, health or residential assistance, personal care, or organized recreational activities to frail elders or vulnerable adults, including a provider, employee, temporary employee, volunteer, or independent contractor who supplies services to long-term care facilities licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 18.20, 18.51, 72.36, or 70.128 RCW, and home health, hospice, or home care agencies licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW, but not including a consensual sexual partner.

(9) "Abuse of a supervisory position" means: (a) To use a direct or indirect threat or promise to exercise authority to the detriment or benefit of a minor; or (b) To exploit a significant relationship in order to obtain the consent of a minor.

(10) "Person with a developmental disability," for purposes of RCW 9A.44.050(1)(c) and 9A.44.100(1)(c), means a person with a developmental disability as defined in RCW 71A.10.020.

(11) "Person with supervisory authority," for purposes of RCW 9A.44.050(1) (c) or (e) and 9A.44.100(1) (c) or (e), means any proprietor or employee of any public or private care or treatment facility who directly supervises developmentally disabled, mentally disordered, or chemically dependent persons at the facility.

(12) "Person with a mental disorder" for the purposes of RCW 9A.44.050(1)(e) and 9A.44.100(1)(e) means a person with a "mental disorder" as defined in RCW 71.05.020.

(13) "Person with a chemical dependency" for purposes of RCW 9A.44.050(1)(e) and 9A.44.100(1)(e) means a person who is "chemically dependent" as defined in RCW 70.96A.020(4).

(14) "Health care provider" for purposes of RCW 9A.44.050 and 9A.44.100 means a person who is, holds himself or herself out to be, or provides services as if he or she were: (a) A member of a health care profession under chapter 18.130 RCW; or (b) registered under chapter 18.19 RCW or licensed under chapter 18.225 RCW, regardless of whether the health care provider is licensed, certified, or registered by the state.

(15) "Treatment" for purposes of RCW 9A.44.050 and 9A.44.100 means the active delivery of professional services by a health care provider which the health care provider holds himself or herself out to be qualified to provide.

(16) "Frail elder or vulnerable adult" means a person sixty years of age or older who has the functional, mental, or physical inability to care for himself or herself. "Frail elder or vulnerable adult" also includes a person found incapacitated under chapter 11.88 RCW, a person over eighteen years of age who has a developmental disability under chapter 71A.10 RCW, a person admitted to a long-term care facility that is licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 18.20, 18.51, 72.36, or 70.128 RCW, and a person receiving services from a home health, hospice, or home care agency licensed or required to be licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW.

http://leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/RCWSelectedTitles/Do...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Wash. Rev. Code §  9A.44.100

(1) A person is guilty of indecent liberties when he or she knowingly causes another person who is not his or her spouse to have sexual contact with him or her or another: (a) By forcible compulsion; (b) When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless; (c) When the victim is a person with a developmental disability and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who: (i) Has supervisory authority over the victim; or (ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense; (d) When the perpetrator is a health care provider, the victim is a client or patient, and the sexual contact occurs during a treatment session, consultation, interview, or examination. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the client or patient consented to the sexual contact with the knowledge that the sexual contact was not for the purpose of treatment; (e) When the victim is a resident of a facility for persons with a mental disorder or chemical dependency and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and has supervisory authority over the victim; or (f) When the victim is a frail elder or vulnerable adult and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who: (i) Has a significant relationship with the victim; or (ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense.

(2)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, indecent liberties is a class B felony. (b) Indecent liberties by forcible compulsion is a class A felony.

http://leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/RCWSelectedTitles/Do...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Wash. Rev. Code §  9A.44.050

(1) A person is guilty of rape in the second degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first degree, the person engages in sexual intercourse with another person: (a) By forcible compulsion; (b) When the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated; (c) When the victim is a person with a developmental disability and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who: (i) Has supervisory authority over the victim; or (ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense; (d) When the perpetrator is a health care provider, the victim is a client or patient, and the sexual intercourse occurs during a treatment session, consultation, interview, or examination. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the client or patient consented to the sexual intercourse with the knowledge that the sexual intercourse was not for the purpose of treatment; (e) When the victim is a resident of a facility for persons with a mental disorder or chemical dependency and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and has supervisory authority over the victim; or (f) When the victim is a frail elder or vulnerable adult and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who: (i) Has a significant relationship with the victim; or (ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense.

(2) Rape in the second degree is a class A felony.

http://leg.wa.gov/CodeReviser/RCWSelectedTitles/Do...
Criminal Elder Abuse
Wash. Rev. Code §  9A.56.400

(1)(a) A person is guilty of theft from a vulnerable adult in the first degree if he or she commits theft of property or services that exceed(s) five thousand dollars in value, other than a firearm as defined in RCW 9.41.010, of a vulnerable adult. The defendant must have known or should have known that the victim was a vulnerable adult.
(b) Theft from a vulnerable adult in the first degree is a class B felony.

(2)(a) A person is guilty of theft from a vulnerable adult in the second degree if he or she commits theft of property or services that exceed(s) seven hundred fifty dollars in value but does not exceed five thousand dollars in value, other than a firearm as defined in RCW 9.41.010 or a motor vehicle, of a vulnerable adult. The defendant must have known or should have known that the victim was a vulnerable adult.  (b) Theft from a vulnerable adult in the second degree is a class C felony.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.56....