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Vulnerable adult protections (new law)

Published (5/20/2011)
By Hank Long
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Care providers who sexually abuse vulnerable adults in their care will be required to register as predatory offenders, under a new law that takes effect Aug. 1, 2011.

Sponsored by Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing) and Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove), the law makes reforms to the Vulnerable Adult Act, which was last substantially revised in 1995 to include making it a crime for vulnerable adult care facility workers or caregivers to engage in sexual conduct or penetration with a vulnerable adult in their care. But the law does not include language that requires someone convicted of these crimes to register as a predatory offender.

The law, signed May 18 by Gov. Mark Dayton, will also increase the fourth-degree assault penalty from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor for those who know or have reason to know their target is a vulnerable adult and still assault that person because of the perceived vulnerability and cause bodily harm in the act. Current statute states that a person who assaults a vulnerable adult receives a misdemeanor penalty unless they were the caregiver of the victim, in which case it is a gross misdemeanor.

In Minnesota, a vulnerable adult is defined as someone who receives nursing home care services or has impairments that make it impossible for them to care for themselves on a daily basis and are sufficiently impaired that they cannot protect themselves from maltreatment.

HF447*/ SF195/CH28

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