Cases of elder abuse are on the rise

archive_import

By AMY LINDBLOM

From the time she was born in a Kansas farmhouse in 1898, Ruby Loving had lived in her own home until 1999 when a caretaker swindled Loving, then 101, out of her Jamestown house.

An 82-year-old Sonora man was also the victim of elder abuse after a 21-year-old Rocklin woman ingratiated herself upon him as she tried to sell him house siding over the phone.

In April, a 39-year-old Sonora man was sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling about $13,000 from his father.

Beyond these three successfully prosecuted cases are many more reports of elder abuse now under investigation in Tuolumne County where 24 percent of residents are age 60 or older.

Marilyn Day, program manager for Tuolumne County Adult Protective Services, said about 40 referrals of possible elder and dependent adult abuse are received each month in her office, which includes two social workers. While some elderly people are physically abused, she said, most are financially abused.

"As our population ages and because of mandated reporting, we're seeing more referrals each year," Day said.

In 1999, a California law was passed requiring any caregiver, either paid or volunteer, to report any kind of suspected abuse to elderly people.

Tuolumne County Deputy District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who prosecutes elder abuse suspects, said Loving was the victim of Judy Laquita Hazeltine.

Hazeltine, 70, had cared for Loving in Loving's Jamestown home for nine months when on May 12, 1999, she took Loving to a notary public and watched as Loving signed over the deed to her home of 38 years to Hazeltine.

In exchange for the deed, Loving had been assured she would be cared for in her own home for the rest of her life, Hovatter said. But within an hour of signing the deed, Hazeltine had Loving admitted to Sonora Community Hospital Long Term Care.

11700523
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday October 1, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Fire threatens Hetch Hetchy infrastructure

09/26/2016

A fire burning in grass and oak woodland near the Moccasin Powerhouse ... more

Marshes Fire grows to 1,000 acres

09/27/2016

Firefighters with dirty faces and bulldozer drivers clad in fire-retardant gear toiled ... more

Hazard tree removal delayed

09/27/2016

Removal of trees destroyed last year by the Butte Fire may not ... more

Tough parking enforcement irks some Sonora merchants

09/29/2016

Downtown Sonora business owners say the city’s parking-enforcement program is too unforgiving ... more