Local caregivers accused of burning, punching woman with special needs

Court documents reveal two employees of AIMES Consulting Inc. are being accused of physically abusing a woman with special needs in Kern County. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Two caregivers who were hired to help a woman with special needs are now accused of physically abusing her.

Court documents reveal the two caregivers worked for AIMES Consulting Inc. at the time of the alleged incident.

Detectives said in December 2016, Kern County Sheriff's deputies investigated a possible crime. According to documents, that is when they noticed a "large scar" on a woman's back.

The woman "claimed to have been burned with scalding hot water" in July 2016.

According to documents, she "suffered second degree burns and was taken to the emergency room by a private vehicle."

She said it was her caregiver who dumped the water on her back.

Detectives said the woman identified the suspect "in a photographic lineup."

Deputies said the woman was 18 years old at the time of the alleged incident, but she had the mental capacity of an 8-year-old child.

Documents state, "... due to numerous mental health diagnoses" the woman was "under the care and responsibility of Kern Regional Center, who contracts AIMES Consulting, Inc. for long term care."

Detectives said the woman had two caregivers who were providing 24-hour care.

The director of Kern Regional Center told Eyewitness News that AIMES is one of its service providers, and they contracted the AIMES caregivers to help the woman.

According to documents, two years later, this May, detectives interviewed one of the men accused of abusing the woman.

Detectives said, "... he admitted to heating a pot of water on a stove and dumping it over" her back "while she was in a prone position."

Documents reveal the suspect "stated there were other incidents where he and coworkers physically assaulted" the woman. He said the woman "was kicked and punched" as punishment "for her child like behavior."

The suspect being interviewed gave detectives the name of the coworker who he claims was there when he burned the woman.

He said his coworker, "helped to create a 'cover up' by fabricating a story" in which the woman injured herself.

The suspect stated he and his coworker assaulted the woman "on other occasions in 2016, including an instance where they each punched her at least 15 times causing bruising."

He claimed his coworker was the person who "taught him" to keep the woman "under control by assaulting her."

The suspect said the two "falsified the information in several reports." Now detectives requested search warrants to look through at all the reports.

The owner of AIMES Consulting said she is working with investigators but would not comment specifically on the allegations.

She would not comment if the two employees under investigation still work for AIMES.

The director of Kern Regional Center said AIMES is still one of its vendors.

Eyewitness News did not name the two suspects because no charges have been filed in this case. We are choosing to keep the alleged victim's identity concealed for privacy.

This investigation is ongoing.

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