Sexual predators who target elders: Findings from the first national study of sexual abuse in care facilities

Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik, Pamela B. Teaster, Marta S. Mendiondo, Jennifer L. Marcum, Erin L. Abner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


This article reports research findings concerning 119 alleged sexual perpetrators who were reported to state authorities for abusing elderly individuals residing in care facilities. The largest group of accused was employees of the facilities, followed by facility residents. Family members of the alleged victims and visitors to the facilities also were among those reported as sexually abusive. Investigation of the allegations by Adult Protective Services and regulatory staff resulted in 32 of these individuals being confirmed as sexual perpetrators against vulnerable elders. Male and female alleged and confirmed sexual perpetrators were identified as well as both male and female elderly sexual abuse victims. Perpetrator characteristics, victim vulnerabilities, abuse acts, locations of assaults, and available case outcomes are presented. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-376
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 8 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research funded by the National Institute of Justice has revealed that the older a sexual assault victim, the less likely it was that the offender was found guilty. Additionally, sexual assault charges were less likely to result in cases in which victims lived in assisted living facilities than when they lived independently (Schofield, 2006).


  • Abuse by facility staff
  • Abuse investigation
  • Elder sexual abuse
  • Facility abuse
  • Resident perpetrators
  • Sexual offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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