Former Employee at Skilled Nursing Facility Sentenced for Criminal Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Pushed Victim’s Wheelchair, Causing Victim to Fall
WASHINGTON – Kevin Thomas, 57, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today in Superior Court for one count of criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult or elderly person, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia, and Daniel W. Lucas, Inspector General for the District of Columbia.
Superior Court Judge Deborah J. Israel accepted Thomas’ guilty plea today and ordered 180 days in jail, suspended, 18 months of supervised probation, mental health and drug treatment services as deemed necessary, and ordered that Thomas make a $50 payment to the Victims of Violent Crimes Fund.
According to court documents, Thomas was employed as a customer service representative and smoking aide at Capital City Skilled Nursing Facility (CCSNF), a residential rehabilitation and healthcare center, located in Southeast Washington. Thomas’ job duties included taking individuals outside of the facility to their designated smoking area.
On November 29, 2021, a resident of the facility reported that a staff member pushed him from his wheelchair while he was attempting to enter CCSNF’s smoking area. The victim has physical and psychological disabilities that would classify him as a “vulnerable adult” under D.C. Code § 22-932. During a subsequent interview, the victim stated that the staff member, identified as Thomas, pushed him and he fell out of his wheelchair and onto the ground, where he laid for several minutes without assistance from the defendant. After reviewing video of the incident, Thomas was immediately suspended from CCSNF, who then reported the abuse to the District’s Department of Health.
This prosecution is indicative of the continued collaboration between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the D.C. Office of the Inspector General (D.C. OIG) to protect vulnerable adults. The D.C. OIG operates the District’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), which is statutorily responsible for investigating and prosecuting District Medicaid provider fraud as well as abuse or neglect of residents in health care facilities and board and care facilities and of beneficiaries in noninstitutional or other settings. The government urges the public to provide tips and assistance to stop health care fraud and abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults. If you have information about individuals committing these types of offenses, please call the D.C. Office of the Inspector General at 202-724-TIPS [202-724-8477].
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Graves, and Inspector General Lucas commended the work of those who investigated the case from the D.C. OIG MFCU. They also acknowledged the efforts of the D.C. Department of Health for their initial response. They commended the work of Special Assistant United States Attorney Jason Facci, on detail from the D.C. OIG, who prosecuted the case.
Updated February 1, 2024
Press Release Number: 24-85