The family of a resident of a Long Branch, New Jersey nursing home is suing the facility, Monmouth Care Center, alleging that a sex offender living there repeatedly assaulted the severely disabled man.
The victim has cerebral palsy and is nonverbal, and the family claims the for-profit nursing home did nothing to protect him from someone they knew was a registered sex offender. The lawsuit alleges the nursing home did not provide proper supervision.
Guardian Not Told of First Incident
The alleged perpetrator, William Schymanski, 66, was arrested after the nursing staff found him molesting the individual with a disability in May 2018. Both were in wheelchairs at the time. Police arrested and charged Schymanski with criminal sexual assault.
According to the victim’s brother, who serves as his guardian, the staff had informed him of a previous incident in April 2018. He was told staff saw Schymanski trying to pull his brother’s pants down, but managed to get the two away from each other. The staff did not call the brother until three days after the attempted molestation. According to the lawsuit, the nursing home should have informed the police immediately after the initial incident.
The brother, who remains nameless because identifying him would reveal the victim’s name, says that the victim requires 24-hour care, and he trusted the facility to keep him safe and “serve his best interests.”
Schymanski is listed as a sex offender in the state’s Megan’s Law database. Megan’s Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl raped and killed by a registered sex offender who moved across the street from her family’s home, and they were not informed. The law requires convicted sex offenders to notify local police whenever they relocate. Schymanski was also charged with not registering his present address, the nursing home, with local authorities. He is still listed as living in Trenton.
Schymanski is considered a “Tier 2” sex offender under state law. This designation means the offender poses a “moderate risk” of reoffending. Schymanski was arrested in 1985, and the registry states he would “hide in bushes,” attack the victims and then take them elsewhere.
Nursing Home Violations
According to the victim’s attorney, the nursing home violated multiple statutes. These include failure to perform the mandatory research that would have alerted them to Schymanski’s sex offender history. Along with not reporting the first incident to police, the facility also did not monitor residents properly afterward.
The lawyer called the nursing home’s behavior, “horrible,” adding that the victim was one of society’s most vulnerable members and the facility had a legal obligation to protect him, rather than to sweep the incident under the rug.
Monmouth Care Center released a statement that said proper protocol was followed, and they cooperated with the investigation. It states the investigation found “no credible evidence of any wrongdoing by this facility." The lawsuit says the facility’s “reckless indifference” caused the victim permanent and irreparable injury.
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We and our nationwide network represent residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospices. We also accept cases from families of those residents as well as homebound patients who were neglected or abused by a homecare service. Our mission is simple, we protect our older and disabled clients.
To learn more, visit our nursing home abuse information page. Ready to see if you have a case? Contact us online, by email [hidden email] or by phone at 833.201.1555. Simply because you are in a nursing home doesn’t mean you must suffer poor care.