An East County caregiver who assaulted a disabled man in his care avoided a prison sentence but must pay $91,000 for the victim's medical bills.
Michael Carter pleaded guilty to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, with a special allegation because his victim was a “dependent person.”
Carter, who was one of the victim’s caregivers, is also barred for life from caring for dependent adults and children, following a separate trial in the state’s administrative law court.
The incident happened Dec. 18, 2013, at the Wind River Family Care Center, an assisted living home for the 36-year-old victim with Down Syndrome and five other developmentally disabled adults.
Click here to read more about the incident and investigation.
Carter was a live-in caretaker at the home, and according to his testimony, has known the victim since they were children.
Though Carter faced up to four years in state prison, a plea bargain resulted in a sentence of three years formal probation, with up to two years in prison if Carter violates his probation.
Carter must also enroll in a residential drug treatment to help him deal with his methamphetamine use.
Judge Charles Gill ordered Carter to reimburse the state Medi-Cal system $91,055 for medical care required by his victim, who underwent five surgeries to correct his fractured jaw.