A $50 million lawsuit has been filed against a Hillcrest nursing facility after an 88-year-old resident said she was sexually assaulted in the fall of 2019.
At around 3 a.m. on Oct. 27, Lusean Arline allegedly entered the facility owned by Balboa Healthcare, Inc. unobserved and assaulted a woman on the second floor, according to the victim’s attorney. Arline, 48, was a recently released parolee at the time.
A preliminary hearing was held on Dec. 16, 2019, where "Louise," the roommate of the victim, told the court she saw a man in their room and then lay naked on top of the victim.
Arline allegedly fled the scene, but was linked to the crime through DNA evidence and arrested eight days after the attack. He was charged with sexual assault, burglary and elder abuse.
The victim's daughter said she received a call on Oct. 27 from the facility saying her mother was at Scripps Mercy Hospital. When she arrived at the hospital, she noticed her mother's arm was broken and she was emotional.
The new lawsuit now seeks civil damages against the nursing home and its parent company, Providence Group, Inc., for allegedly allowing the suspect to enter its ground and assault the resident.
"It's shocking. It's shocking to the core to think that we can put a loved one in a nursing home where they're expected to be safely cared for. To have something like this happen is just unbelievable," said attorney William Berman.
The lawsuit also accuses the nursing facility of elder neglect and negligence.
Arline entered the nursing home through an open back door, went to the second floor, walked down a hallway past a nurses’ station and entered the victim’s room, according to suit.
Berman said the facility knew of a homeless and transient population near the facility and failed to upgrade its security. The facility was also understaffed, he added.
"That's demonstrated by the complete lack of awareness of the staff on duty that evening to know that there was an individual in their facility," Berman said.
The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 16 on behalf of the 88-year old victim, who is only named as Jane Doe, and her daughter.
Arline is being held on $2 million bail and his next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8.