MN facility defended rapist on staff, legal documents charge

Share this content:
MN nursing home defended rapist on staff, legal documents charge
MN nursing home defended rapist on staff, legal documents charge

As part of a generally mishandled response after an aide raped a resident, a director at a Minnesota senior living facility defended the rapist and tarred the victim as a “flirt,” according to allegations in court documents obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The rapist, 30-year-old Andrew Scott Merzwski, was sentenced last month to 53 months in prison. However, the Star Tribune reports that an ongoing legal case questions the response from Edgewood Vista in Hermantown, a facility offering independent and assisted living, and memory care.

The 89-year-old resident was kept for nearly three days in a hospital psychiatric ward while investigators looked into her claims, even though Merzwski already had confessed to the police, the woman's attorneys claim. The administrators at Edgewood did not intervene to tell the hospital that Merzwski had admitted to having sex with the woman, and this also delayed her medical treatment for assault-related injuries, the court papers say.

Furthermore, a clinical services director at Edgewood allegedly defended Merzwski to the nurse examiner who treated the victim. The director told the nurse that the sex was “consensual” and that the resident flirted “mercilessly” with the rapist, according to documents quoted by the Star Tribune.

Attorneys for the victim also fault the state Health Department for not thoroughly investigating Edgewood's response, according to the Minneapolis newspaper.

Edgewood Management Group issued a statement saying that the company fully cooperated with authorities in the case against Merzwski and prioritizes resident safety. McKnight's placed a call to the management group, which had not been returned as of press time.

This news comes less than a week after a supervising nurse at New York City nursing home was arrested on charges that he raped a resident. Nanic Aidasani, 42, worked at the Manhattanville Health Care Center in the Bronx.