Hibbing adult-care worker fired for arranging sex with clientAn employee at an adult foster care home in Hibbing was fired and banned from similar work after investigators found she had arranged a sexual liaison between a client, a community member and herself.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
An employee at an adult foster care home in Hibbing was fired and banned from similar work after investigators found she had arranged a sexual liaison between a client, a community member and herself.
The former employee of FACES North denied the charges, but investigators said the preponderance of evidence led them to conclude that the charges were accurate. The former employee, who was not named in the investigation memorandum issued Jan. 25 by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, has the right to appeal the disqualification.
Investigators didn’t find fault with FACES North in the incident, which they said occurred in the employee’s home last May. Bonnie Martinson, house manager for the facility, said the client is still a resident. FACES, an acronym for Family Counseling and Extended Services, has facilities in Bovey and Hibbing. The Hibbing facility has nine people on staff and room for four residents, but has just three now, Martinson said.
The former employee violated policies that are well-known by the staff, she said. A criminal background check is conducted before anyone is hired, she added.
“We handled everything properly,” Martinson said. “Our residents are our No. 1 priority.”
According to the report, which was based on a joint investigation by two state investigators and a police officer:
The client had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline intelligence, poly-substance abuse and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and was recovering from sexual and chemical addiction. The facility’s support plan noted that the client was vulnerable to “being taken advantage of financially and sexually.”
About a year before the incident, the employee talked with the client about meeting a community member for a sexual encounter. The two exchanged text messages. The client said she asked the community member for more information about himself, and that he sent her messages she described as “nasty.”
On May 4 of last year, the employee told the client that the community member was at her home and asked if the client would like to meet him. The client said she didn’t think it was a good idea.
The next morning, the employee sent the client text messages from home again inviting her to come to her house to meet the community member and “have some great sex.” Although the client again said she didn’t think it was a good idea, she agreed to meet the employee in front of a convenience store to be driven to the house.
The community member was already in the home. After about 15 minutes, the employee invited the client and the community member to a bedroom, where the two engaged in sexual intercourse. At some point, the employee also became involved.
After the encounter, the employee brought the client to a family member’s home to get some money, and the two women went shopping.
In one interview, the employee denied that any sexual encounter took place in the home. In another, she said the client and community member engaged in sex but she wasn’t involved.
But investigators said interviews with a supervisor and another community member corroborated portions of the client’s account, and that the client seemed more credible than the employee.
The employee’s actions constituted neglect as well as sexual abuse, the report said, because they placed the client’s safety at risk and hindered her ability to understand appropriate relationships with caregivers.
The agency disqualified the former employee from any position allowing direct contact with people receiving services in facilities licensed by the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health or licensed by the Department of Corrections to serve children or youth.