Blog

 
     

Ohio Home Health Worker Indicted on Rape Charges Had Previous History of Assault

By Michael Klazema on 12/4/2014

Officials with the Ohio Department of Health say that the rape of a 17-year-old girl in Delaware County would have been prevented had proper background check protocol been carried out. The young girl in question was sexually assaulted by a home health aide working with her family. The aide in question, a 31-year-old male, had been hired to help the family care for the girl's older brother. Allegedly, the suspect touched the girl inappropriately with his hands and mouth.

The health aide doesn't have a criminal record in Ohio, but he was convicted of assaulting another woman in North Carolina four years ago. Such a charge would likely have disqualified the man from candidacy for any home healthcare position. However, the charge was mistakenly overlooked, and from the looks of it, it was missed because someone failed to run the proper background checks.

Indeed, a Health Department spokeswoman said that the state of Ohio requires background checks for home health workers to look through records from the past five years. By default, these criminal screenings start with checks of records just in the state of Ohio. If the health worker in question has been employed in Ohio for five or more years, then their prospective employers can stop after the state check. However, if the worker moved to Ohio in the last five years, then their employer needs to go one step further and obtain background checks from other states in which that worker has lived.

In this case, the health worker had only been working in Ohio for four years, which means that background checks should have been run in other states. Had this protocol been properly observed, the man's assault conviction (and the 55 days he spent in jail as a sentence for that crime) would have been discovered. Evidently, though, only state checks were run, so employers didn't know about the man's criminal record. As a result, he was allowed to get a job as a home health worker, and by connection, harm a young and defenseless victim in her home.

The worker was arrested, indicted on two counts of rape, and jailed under a $100,000 bond. He will likely face prison time for his crime. More questionable, however, is what will happen to the man's employer, Atlas Home Health Care. The company has so far declined to comment about the incident, but it's fairly clear that they failed to follow state policies regarding employee background checks. Some sort of fine from the state, or even a civil case from the victim, could plague the company in the coming months.

Overall, this case just underlines the need to run thorough background checks in all situations. If you run a company, you obviously need to make sure you are following all local, state, or national background check guidelines. More than that, though, you need to consider the position you are hiring for. In this case, the employer was looking to hire a person who would be going into people's homes without supervision. Such a work environment demands the most thorough criminal and sex offender background checks possible, whether or not they are required by law.

Source: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/11/24/Health-care-worker-charged-with-rape-had-record.html


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.


  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.