Crimes Affecting Persons with Infirmities – Louisiana

Cruelty to Persons with Infirmities

In Louisiana the law for Cruelty to the Infirm can be found at La. R.S. 14:93.3. It defined as the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect by any person, including a caregiver, whereby unjustifiable pain, malnourishment, or suffering is caused to a person with an infirmity, an adult with a disability, or a person who is aged, including but not limited to a person who is a resident of a nursing home, facility for persons with intellectual disabilities, mental health facility, hospital, or other residential facility.

Definitions

“Caregiver” is defined as any person or persons who temporarily or permanently is responsible for the care of a person with an infirmity; an adult with a physical or mental disability; or a person who is aged, whether such care is voluntarily assumed or is assigned.

A person who is aged is any individual 60 years of age or older.

Note: The providing of treatment by a caregiver in accordance with a well-recognized spiritual method of healing, in lieu of medical treatment, shall not for that reason alone be considered the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect of a person with an infirmity, an adult with a disability, or a person who is aged. The provisions of this Subsection shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this Section.

Penalties / Sentencing: Cruelty to the Infirm

Fined not more than $10,000 dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than 10 years, or both. At least 1 year of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence when the act of cruelty to persons with infirmities was intentional and malicious.

Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than $10,000 dollars and imprisoned at hard labor for not less than 5 years nor more than 10 years – 5 years of the sentence of imprisonment imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Exploitation of Persons with Infirmities

In Louisiana, the law for Exploitation of the Infirm can be found at 14:93.4. It is defined as:

The intentional expenditure, diminution, or use by any person, including a caregiver, of the property or assets of a person with an infirmity, an adult with a disability, or a person who is aged, including but not limited to a resident of a nursing home, facility for persons with intellectual disabilities, mental health facility, hospital, or other residential facility without the express voluntary consent of the resident or the consent of a legally authorized representative of an incompetent resident, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.

OR

The use of the power of attorney or guardianship of a person with an infirmity, a person who is aged, or an adult with a disability for one’s own profit or advantage by means of fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations.

Penalties / Sentencing: Exploitation of the Infirm

Whoever commits the crime of exploitation of persons with infirmities shall be fined not more than $10,000 dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than 10 years, or both.

Whoever is convicted, or who enters a plea agreement for exploitation of persons with infirmities shall be prohibited from having access to the assets or property of the victim or of any other person with a disability or person who is aged.

The offender shall be prohibited from being appointed as a power of attorney or guardian for the victim or any other person with a disability or person who is aged. The provisions of this Subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the offender from inheriting from the victim with an infirmity.

Sexual Battery of Persons with Infirmities

In Louisiana, the crime of Sexual Battery of the Infirm may be found at La. R.S. 14:93.5. It is the intentional engaging in any of the sexual acts listed below with another person, who is not the spouse of the offender, when:

(1) The offender compels the victim, who is physically incapable of preventing the act because of advanced age or physical infirmity, to submit by placing the victim in fear of receiving bodily harm.

(2) The victim is incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act by reason of stupor or abnormal condition of the mind produced by an intoxicating, narcotic, or anesthetic agent administered by or with the privity of the offender.

(3) The victim has such incapacity, by reason of a stupor or abnormal condition of mind from any cause, and the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s incapacity.

(4) The victim is incapable, through unsoundness of mind, whether temporary or permanent, of understanding the nature of the act, and the offender knew or should have known of the victim’s incapacity.

Definitions

“Sexual acts” mean either of the following:

            (1) The touching of the anus or genitals of the victim by the offender using any instrumentality or any part of the body of the offender.

OR

            (2) The touching of the anus or genitals of the offender by the victim using any instrumentality or any part of the body of the victim.

Note: Normal medical treatments or sanitary care is not considered a violation of this offense.

Penalties / Sentencing : Sexual Batter of the Infirm

Whoever commits the crime of sexual battery of persons with infirmities shall be punished by imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for not more than 20 years.

If the victim is a resident of a nursing home, facility for persons with intellectual disabilities, mental health facility, hospital, or other residential facility and the offender is an employee of such home or facility, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for not more than 25 years.

Legal Assistance

If you have been arrested for a crime against the infirm or if your loved one is the victim of a crime against the infirm, contact New Orleans Attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter today.  She is ready to help you. 504-599-5955

New Orleans-attorney

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