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District attorney creates new elder abuse unit

The Clark County district attorney’s office on Wednesday announced the creation of a new elder abuse unit to prosecute crimes against the aged and vulnerable.

Cases involving physical or mental abuse, neglect, isolation and financial exploitation will now be prosecuted by two specialized deputy district attorneys. Those cases had previously been handled by the office’s general prosecutions teams.

“The protection of our seniors from fraud, theft and abuse is the responsibility of all agencies in the criminal justice system,” District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in a release. “These crimes target some of our most vulnerable citizens, can be devastating to a family, and have far-reaching impacts on our community as a whole.”

According to the news release, 61 cases qualified as elder abuse cases in 2014, and 32 through the first half of 2015.

“We are pleased that District Attorney Wolfson has recognized the need for specially trained prosecutors, who can ensure that those who abuse and exploit our senior population are brought to justice,” Sugar Vogel, Executive Director of the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program, said in the release. “All too often, those abused are dependent, in some way, on their abuser. It is important that their call for help will not fall on deaf ears.”

Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Find him on Twitter: @ColtonLochhead

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