A criminal investigation continues into allegations of abuse at the Beatrice State Developmental Center.
Gage County Attorney Roger Harris says he likely will decide soon whether to file formal charges against employees accused of abusing residents. Charges could range from assault to abuse of a vulnerable adult as well as failure to report.
An internal investigation conducted at the center in cooperation with the Nebraska State Patrol accuses five staff members of abusing residents. The 78-page report released by Nebraska Health and Human Services alleges the five beat and choked residents of a unit on the campus in Beatrice. They also are accused of verbal abuse of residents. Ten others have been accused of looking the other way. All those accused in the report have been suspended.
Gage says he takes the allegations very seriously. Gage is quick to add that the allegations of abuse seem confined to the single unit and to those accused in the report.
“The BSDC has a lot of caring employees (who) I think would be repulsed at some of the allegations here,” Gage tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KWBE.
Harris says he is reviewing the reports from investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol and working with the Attorney General’s office to decide whether criminal charges should be filed.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, contributed to this report.