Carlsbad police arrested a man accused of sexual battery after he entered a room of a resident in an assisted living facility in Carlsbad, the Carlsbad Police Department said.
On February 4, officers received a call to an assisted living facility called Las Villas De Carlsbad located in the 1000 block of Laguna Dr. for a report of a sexual assault.
Staff from the facility told police a man entered the building and then entered the room of a 70-year-old woman. Once inside, the suspect sexually assaulted the victim, CPD said.
A staff member confronted the suspect and he then fled the building. Police then searched for the suspect until Wednesday morning where he was later found, CPD said.
Police found the suspect at Carlsbad Village Drive.
He has been identified as Austin Miller, 25, who police describe as “an unsheltered individual in North County.”
Miller was booked into the Vista Detention Facility for elder abuse, burglary, attempted rape, sexual battery, and false imprisonment.
NBC 7 spoke to an attorney who represents victims with this type of elderly abuse and said it's on the rise.
"Unfortunately we've seen a trend in these cases increasing. As the population ages, we're seeing more and more people in these facilities. And as a result, these incidents are occurring more and more," Harlan Zaback from Berman & Reidel Law Offices said.
Berman & Reidel Law Offices represents the 88-year-old victim who was sexually assaulted at a nursing home in Hillcrest last year.
The family of the victim has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the facility.
NBC 7 reached out to Villas De Carlsbad for comment and they sent the following response:
"At Las Villas de Carlsbad, the health and safety of our residents and associates is our top priority. While the community has security measures in place, we have increased the security presence in the community. We take this incident very seriously and will continue to cooperate with local law enforcement in their investigation."
-Derek Root, VP of Communications at Villas de Carlsbad
The investigation is ongoing.