ALBERT LEA, Minn. (WCCO) — ALBERT LEA, Minn. (WCCO) — A former aide accused of sexually and psychologically humiliating residents of an Albert Lea nursing home has been sentenced after making a plea deal.
Ashton Larson, 20, was sentenced on Wednesday to serve 180 days in jail. Her attorney asked that they wait until Monday for Larson to start serving her time but the judge denied the request, sending Larson to jail immediately.
If Larson does have to serve the entire time, the next 60 days of her sentence would start in July and the last 60 days would start in December 2011. It’s possible she could petition the court not to serve the remaining 120 days.
Co-defendant Brianna Broitzman was handed down a similar sentence in October.
Broitzman and Larson were accused of abusing residents at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in 2008. Four other aides were charged in juvenile court with not reporting the abuse.
In court Wednesday, Larson wept as families of her victims told a judge what her actions had done.
Then, Larson stood up to face them all saying “I hope something like this never happens in the world again. I can’t say sorry enough.”
Family members say the apology was too little too late.
“I guess I’ve become so angry and caulis it didn’t mean that much to me,” Myrna Sornenson said.
In October, Larson entered Alford pleas to three counts of disorderly conduct by a caregiver, a gross misdemeanor.
An Alford plea acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence to convict. Each count acknowledged a different victim.
Including the jail time, Larson will be on parole for two years and cannot have contact with vulnerable adults.
She must also write apology letters to the families and do some community service.
The Elder Care Rights Alliance has stepped up training at Minnesota’s nursing homes ever since.
Harbir Kaur is the Director of Elder Victim Services for ElderCare Rights Alliance.
“Before it happens, what are the red flags? The warning signs need to be looked at,” Kaur said.
WCCO-TV’s Liz Collin Reports