Special Reports

Nursing home and official plead not guilty

Hazard Nursing Home's top administrator and the company that owns the facility both pleaded not guilty Monday to failure to report the suspected sexual abuse of an elderly resident.

The pleas were entered in Perry District Court.

Sheila Noe, the administrator who was acting on behalf of the company that owns Hazard Nursing Home — Forcht Group of Kentucky — was made aware of the suspected sexual abuse of an 88-year-old patient by another patient on Aug. 8, 2009, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said when the charges were filed.

Conway said Noe failed to report the suspected abuse to the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, as is required by law.

The case involved the suspected sexual abuse of Mae Campbell, 88, who has Alzheimer's disease.

The Herald-Leader normally does not identify victims of sexual abuse. However, Campbell's family allowed the newspaper to identify her to bring the problem of sexual abuse in nursing homes to the public's attention.

The "failure to report" charge is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $250 in fines.

Wesley R. Tipton, an attorney representing the nursing home and Noe, could not be reached after the hearing.

Another hearing in the case is set for Dec. 14.

Officials of Forcht Group of Kentucky, which owns banking, health care and insurance companies, could not immediately be reached for comment.