A 56-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a patient while working at a rehabilitation center was sentenced to prison on Thursday.
Arrold Geffrard Jean, a former nursing assistant at Transitional Care of Las Vegas, at 5650 S. Rainbow Blvd., was arrested in May 2021 after a nurse said she witnessed Jean inappropriately touching two patients while bathing them in bed.
He initially faced charges of sexual assault, but pleaded guilty in August to abuse of an older or vulnerable person.
Jean pleaded guilty through what is known as an Alford plea, meaning he only admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Stacy Kollins said that despite the guilty plea agreement, she believed that Jean’s conduct was “sexually motivated.” She asked District Judge Tara Clark Newberry to sentence Jean to the maximum term of one to five years in prison.
“In good conscious I couldn’t stand here and ask for anything less,” Kollins said.
The judge said she agreed with Kollins, and that she believed the maximum sentence “isn’t even enough for the crime that has occurred here.” She sentenced Jean to one to five years in prison and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine.
Jean was accused of inappropriately touching two patients, one who was in a vegetative state and another who was a quadriplegic and was on a ventilator part of the time, according to court records. The woman who was quadriplegic testified during a preliminary hearing that Jean used cleansing wipes to touch her sexually during baths.
“We have a vulnerable, quadriplegic person who cannot even care for themselves in the most basic human ways, and somebody taking advantage of them,” Kollins said Thursday. “I almost don’t have words for it, it’s abhorrent to me.”
Jean, who listened to the hearing with the help of an interpreter, declined to give a statement to the judge.
Defense attorney Ben Nadig said his client did not believe he was harming the women while bathing them.
“He was not doing this for a sexual purpose, and at no point did he suggest he was doing this for a sexual purpose,” Nadig said.
He said the case was “very defensible,” but that Jean pleaded guilty to avoid a trial.
The quadriplegic woman who said she was assaulted by Jean filed a lawsuit against him and the medical facility in November. She has since died from complications of multiple sclerosis, said attorney Robert Murdock, who represents her estate in the ongoing lawsuit.
Following Thursday’s hearing, Murdock said he hopes Jean spends the maximum amount of time in prison.
“I’m glad the state got some justice at this point, and now it’s our turn,” he said about the lawsuit.
Jean was also facing sexual assault allegations against a child under the age of 14 in a separate case. After Jean’s initial arrest, a woman told police that Jean had assaulted her when she was a child when they lived in the same house, according to an arrest report. She also told police that Jean threatened to kill her.
In August, Jean pleaded guilty to a felony count of burglary in the case, court records show. He is set to be sentenced on Monday.
Jean’s public defender, Kara Gaston, wrote in court documents that he pleaded guilty to a burglary charge “to avoid the possible harsher punishments” in both cases. She wrote that the alleged victim in the case had a strifeful relationship with Jean and that she came forward after seeing news reports about the other charges.
Contact Katelyn Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0240.