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In MN, elder abuse lawsuits die with the victim

Advocates say a legal loophole keeps families from seeking justice in the courts and shields elder care facilities from responsibility for abuse.


ST. PAUL - On the night Jean Krause was sexually assaulted by a worker at Heritage House Assisted Living, she was helpless. “She couldn’t cry out. She couldn’t push him off. She couldn’t tell anybody. She just had to lie there and take it,” said her son Bob Krause.


David DeLong was eventually criminally convicted of the assault. But when state regulators investigated, they found Heritage House did nothing wrong, even though court records obtained by KARE 11 showed when another worker discovered DeLong in Krause’s room with his pants and underwear around his thighs, Heritage House waited more than an hour and a half to call police.


By the time officers arrived, someone at the facility had washed Jean Krause’s nightgown and mattress pad, destroying potential evidence. “Until the people who are in charge are held accountable for this, nothing’s going to change,” Bob Krause said. Bob says he wasn’t told about the attack until a prosecutor called him several months later. By then, Jean Krause had died.


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Author: Lauren Leamanczyk, Steven Eckert

Published: 11:43 PM CST February 23, 2018