I-TEAM: Sexual abuse victim had 'no way' of defending herself from healthcare aide, police say




  • In US
  • 2022-08-10 20:16:53Z
  • By WHIO
 

Eaton Police are discussing the case of a home healthcare worker who is accused of sexually abusing a 76-year-old woman with mental disabilities in Preble County.

Brandon Velez, 24, was indicted Aug. 1 on two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count patient abuse, according to Preble County Common Pleas Court records.

The indictment stated that the charges were in connection an incident that happened in Eaton in March 2022.

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Velez was an employee for Empowering People, Inc. and caring for a 76-year-old woman is "blind, non-verbal and has mental disabilities" at the time of the incident, according to an Eaton Police incident report.

News Center 7 reached out to the company Tuesday and received "no comment" on the allegations against Velez and information on his current employment status. We reached out again Wednesday and are awaiting a response.

Lieutenant David Sizemore, Eaton Police, said the investigation that led to the indictment on the charges against Velez was a tough one.

"It's never easy to work on these things, but we've got a job to do so we always like to do the best we can," Sizemore said.

Police said the crimes happened at a group home in a neighborhood near Eaton Avenue and North Barron Street. Officers told News Center 7′s I-Team that one of Velez's alert co-workers gave them a tip that kicked off this investigation.

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The co-worker said she relieved Velez on the evening of March 3, according to an incident report. When she went to check on the victim later during her shift, she found what was later determined to be evidence on top of a dresser. That's when police were notified.

During an investigation officers located additional evidence. Sizemore said Eaton Police used DNA evidence and testing to link Velez to the crimes.

The victim, who has "a lot of physical and mental disabilities," is under constant care, according to Sizemore. When asked by the I-Team's John Bedell, Sizemore said the victim had "no way" to defend herself.

Velez was arraigned Monday and is being held in the Preble County Jail without bond. His trial is set to begin in October.

We'll update this story was we learn more.

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