By: LISA R. WILSON

Two teenage girls who worked at Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home in Albert Lea, Minneapolis, are being charged with nursing home abuse, reported authorities on Thursday. 19-year-old Brianna Broitzman and 18-year-old Ashton Larson are accused of taunting, spitting upon, poking and groping the genitals of residents who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and other dementia disorders in the home.

Broitzman and Larson, who worked as part-time nurse’s aides at the home, are being charged as adults. Four other teens who worked with them are being charged as juveniles for failing to report the incidents.

Broitzman and Larson’s charges include assault, abuse of a vulnerable adult by a caregiver, abuse of a vulnerable adult with sexual contact, disorderly conduct and failing to report suspected maltreatment. All of these charges are gross misdemeanors.

If found guilty, Broitzman and Larson "most likely will face suspended jail sentences and probation, so they'd have the threat of jail hanging over them if they get in more trouble," Attorney Craig Nelson told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Mark Anderson, administrator at the Good Samaritan Society home said the past few months “have been difficult for the staff, the home's residents and their families. We are just really thankful that the proceedings are moving forward and hopefully can see some closure to this whole process."

As many of today’s nursing homes are under-funded and understaffed, a disturbing incidence of neglect and abuse is being reported. Injuries sustained by nursing home residents due to neglect and abuse often involve the inappropriate use of physical restraints, joint contractors, overuse of sedatives, unnecessary use of urinary catheters, loss of mobility, pressure sores and lack of nutrition with weight loss.

Nursing home abuse is devastating, extremely unnecessary and completely illegal. If you feel you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, or if you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death caused by nursing home abuse, you are not alone and you do have legal rights. Contact the authorities immediately if you or your loved one is still in danger. After the threat of personal safety is relieved, contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your litigation options.

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