HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that an Erie man who poured scalding water on a disabled man, severely burning him, was sentenced by an Erie judge to two and a half years to five years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation.
Akeem Nixon, 27, of German Street, Erie, pleaded guilty in June to neglect of a care-dependent person and aggravated assault – first-degree felonies – as a result of an incident last June at Lakeshore Community Services in Erie. The victim, a 38-year-old man with cerebral palsy, was hospitalized for 17 days and suffered second-degree burns over 20 percent of his body.
“This defendant assaulted a disabled man in his care with scalding water,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Today, he was held accountable for his crimes. Protecting care-dependent Pennsylvanians from neglect and assaults like this is a high priority of my office.”
Nixon was charged in November 2017 based on medical evidence of the burns, statements from the victim and safety protocols in place at the residence where the victim lived. Investigators determined the victim could not have heated water to a temperature able to cause the severe burns himself. The victim also indicated that Nixon was the person responsible for his injuries. Nixon was suspended from his job the day after the incident, and did not return to work.
“Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Neglect Team works to protect seniors and vulnerable citizens, and will pursue justice against anyone who harms a care-dependent Pennsylvanian,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Strong collaboration between Erie police and our agents made this arrest possible,”
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Nathan Giunta of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Neglect Team. The office has recently brought felony neglect and other charges against a Luzerne County charge nurse, a Berks County man, and a Philadelphia nurse for failing to properly care for people entrusted to their supervision. Thanks to a recent change in state law, the Attorney General’s team can now investigate and prosecute physical abuse cases as well as neglect cases.
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