Castro Valley RCFE Principals Criminally Charged

14 Felony CountsOn 2 March 2015, Kamala D Harris, Attorney General of California signed an Amended Felony Complaint containing 14 counts each of Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse against Valley Springs Manor RCFE Licensee Herminigilda Noveda Manuel, and the facility's Administrator, Edgar Babael. In October 2013, these individuals abandoned the Valley Spring Manor, leaving 14 medically needy and some bedridden residents to fend for themselves.  Arrest of Manuel was made in 2015.

According to reports at the time, the licensing agency, Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (DSS/CCL) issued a Temporary Suspension Order (TSO) against the facility, a move which required the licensee to immediately relocate the residents.  Rather than relocate the 14 residents, Manuel and Babael abandoned the facility, leaving two facility employees to care for these individuals; help arrived several days later when they contacted 9-1-1 advising of the dire conditions.   

The 14 separate felony counts allege each Defendant ". . . did, under circumstances and conditions likely to produce great bodily harm and death, knowingly and willfully cause and permit [the named victim], an elder, to suffer and inflicted thereon unjustifiable physical pain and mental suffering and having the care and custody of said victim, willfully caused and permitted [named victim] to be placed in a situation in which [named victim's] health was endangered and reasonably knew and reasonably should have known that person was an elder."  Both defendants were charged under California Penal Code, Section 368 (b)(1).  

CCL met with heavy criticism and consumer outrage for its failure to monitor the facility once the TSO was issued to assure all residents were relocated.  The agency was eventually called to answer for its failures in an 11 February 2014 Joint Hearing of the Senate and Assembly Committees of Human Services, "Increasing Accountability in Assisted Living Facilities: State Oversight of Care in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs)" 

Read the First Amended Felony Complaint, Case No. 461883A filed with the Superior Court of the State of California County of Alameda.  

Related articles:  CBS,  New York Daily News, San Jose Mercury News

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