Nursing home owner gives up license following sexual assault investigations

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Sexual assault allegations at a Washington nursing home have led to the owner surrendering his license.

Cashmere Convalescent Center's Bill Dronen was ordered to surrender his operator's license after investigations by the Department of Social and Health Services and Department of Health centered around allegations of sexual assault in the facility's dementia ward, according to local reports. Dronen will no longer be allowed to own or operate a nursing home.

Staff at the facility allegedly failed to prevent a resident of the ward from sexually abusing multiple residents, according to a lawsuit filed by one resident's family. In addition to alleged failures on Dronen's part, there is an investigation into the actions of the nursing supervisor. The supervisor is accused of failure to report sexual assault, and telling authorities “the abuser had rights to pleasure that could not be denied.”

The question of whether or not dementia residents can give consent to sexual activity has been a pressing issue for nursing homes, most recently in an Iowa case.

Dronen's brother has reportedly taken over as owner of the facility. The lawsuit against Cashmere will continue despite the change in ownership, KOMO News reports.