PA man convicted of willfully harming disabled resident in his care

(WJET/WFXP/ — A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for violating federal law when he willfully harmed a disabled resident in his care.

Former Freedom member Zachary Dinel, 29, was sentenced on January 26. He had previously pleaded guilty to several federal law violations, including conspiracy charges and ten counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. His one count of concealment of material facts in health care matters.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Dinell admitted in his petition to commit a hate crime against a resident of the New Brighton inpatient medical facility where he was employed. Dinel and his alleged co-workers have allegedly punched and kicked residents, jumped on them, applied antiseptic to their eyes, sprayed liquid irritants in their eyes and mouth, and inflicted pain on their patients. Removed the resident’s elastic stockings in the intended manner. .

Some of the assaults were recorded on Dinel’s mobile phone. He and his colleagues “expressed hostility toward residents with disabilities, shared photos and videos of residents, described their assaults, and encouraged continued resident abuse of each other.” are said to have been replaced.

Due to their physical disabilities, residents were unable to protect themselves from assaults. Residents of the facility suffered from severe physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities and required assistance with all activities of daily living, including bathing, using the toilet, oral hygiene, eating, and dressing. According to the release, Dinell said he and his colleagues “among other things exploited one-on-one access to the facility’s occupants and the fact that the victims were speechless and unable to speak. was able to avoid it,” he said. Report suspected abusers. ”

The crime occurred between June 2016 and September 2017.

In addition to the prison sentence, Dinel will be subject to three years of supervision after his release. He is prohibited from seeking employment in institutions that care for juveniles or persons with disabilities.

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A federal lawsuit against the colleague is pending, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the release said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation leading to prosecution. PA man convicted of willfully harming disabled resident in his care

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