Alleged sex video sparks elder abuse probe

2 nurses investigated after video surfaces

SAN DIEGO - Family members paid $1,300 a day to have two in-home nurses care for a 98-year old loved one but became outraged when they learned the stroke victim was being abused in her own home.

"It was only discovered when the family became suspicious of a lack of care because there was signs of struggle, with a trach tube, blood on the sheets," said elder abuse attorney William Berman.

Berman is representing the family, who wants to remain anonymous. He explained that when they became suspicious, they decided to check the security cameras already installed in the home. 

They were shocked by what they saw.

"It's just repetitive, wrongful lewd and lascivious acts that truly speak to the depravation of care, dignity, respect and trust of this patient who can't otherwise speak for herself," Berman told Team 10 Investigator Allison Ash.

The video, which was recorded in 2011, shows several sessions involving two nurses identified as Russell Torralba and Alfredo Ruiz. 

The two, who are wearing scrubs, are seen fondling each other's private parts just feet from the patient's bed and sometimes reaching over to caress her intimate areas or to kiss her before returning to each other.

In one video, Ruiz appears only in a towel and engages in what appears to be foreplay with Torralba.

Berman told 10News that the victim, who suffered a stroke, is aware of her surroundings but incapable of expressing herself or calling out for help.

The men are both registered nurses, who worked for AMS Homecare Solutions in Kearny Mesa. When 10News arrived outside their offices, a man was seen rushing from the receptionist desk to the front door. He locked it and retreated to a back room. He would not answer the door.

This may be the reason why: 10News contacted the California Department of Public Health which confirmed AMS is not licensed. 

In May of 2011, the company applied for a license, but none has been issued. Without that license, the company should not be offering services.

In a statement, the Department of Health said: "In February 2012, CDPH received a complaint regarding the operation of this entity. Based on the outcome of our investigation, CDPH made referrals to law enforcement agencies."

To date, no criminal charges have been filed against AMS or the two nurses.

10News uncovered court documents that show Torralba once owned a company called Golden Touch Residential Care. The company was sued in small claims court by San Diego Care Placement, Inc.

The owner of San Diego Care Placement told 10News Torralba eventually paid back the money he owed, but Dwayne Jenson said he stopped doing business with Torralba because he "seemed flaky."

10News tried to contact Torralba and Ruiz at their homes but family members said they were unavailable.

Both men are scheduled to appear before the state nurses licensing board later this month.

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