A few months ago our elder abuse lawyers wrote a blog on an Arizona woman who escaped from her abusive caretakers. Ruthann Jacox, a 64-year-old woman who suffered from multiple sclerosis and has been bedridden for two years, was under the care of Lea Marie Hughes and her boyfriend Gilbert Pierre Peralta Jr. When a visitor came to the home Jacox asked them to take a picture of her back, which was covered in bedsores down to the bone, when she saw this she begged to be taken to the hospital. The police began to investigate the situation and discovered that Hughes limited Jacox’s liquid to one and a half quarts and only fed her between 700 and 1,000 calories a day. Jacox kept a journal of all of the abuse she suffered under their care.
Peralta Tells Media that Authorities Have the Story Wrong
Unfortunately, even though she was away from her abusers and getting the medical attention that she needed, Jacox died at the Tucson Medical Center on November 8, 2011. Authorities are now saying that the couple also cleared the woman’s bank accounts and credit cards. But Peralta is saying that the stories about what happened to Jacox are not true. He says that both Hughes and himself loved Jacox as if she was family and did not abuse or neglect her. He said he cannot speak for the 12 to 15 hours a day he spent at work and cannot comment on her diet, but he used to make her egg sandwiches in the morning until she told him that she preferred that Hughes care for her. He did notice the weight loss but assumed that it was a result of the multiple sclerosis. He says that he was the one that saw the sores on her back and made the decision to go to the hospital. “I seen the wound and I said ‘Get the wheelchair. We’re going to take her in (to the hospital) right now,” Peralta said. He then wheeled Jacox to the car and Hughes drove her to the hospital while he stayed home with Hughes’ kids. He also said that they never stole from Jacox, she would give him $40 or $60 for gas money occasionally but he says he always paid her back. He also claims that Hughes would give him Jacox’s ATM card and tell him to withdraw money, but that they were given permission and he always gave the card back. “It was nothing damaging like they’re trying to say…Ruthann was my best friend. I took care of her as much as I could,” Peralta said.
Elder Abuse Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If your loved one is currently under the care of an individual or they are a resident of a nursing home or care facility and you are worried that the care they are receiving is negligent, abusive, or inadequate and you would like to speak with one of our elder abuse lawyers, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.