Sunday, January 21, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg man accused of molesting patient at Lealman assisted living facility

LEALMAN — Authorities have arrested an assisted living facility employee who they said molested a patient last weekend.

Joshua Baker, 28, of St. Petersburg was arrested just after midnight Wednesday on a charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of an elderly or disabled person.

The woman Baker molested, authorities said, is both.

Authorities at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Baker, a nurse's aide, assaulted the woman about 4 p.m. Saturday at Bristol Court, the largest dementia-only assisted living facility in the county.

Sgt. Dave DiSano said a co-worker walked into the woman's room and saw Baker touching her in an "inappropriate manner."

Baker was on top of the woman with his pants down, the witness told deputies. Baker had his underwear on but the woman was naked.

Baker left the facility, at 3479 54th Ave. N, a short time later.

Bristol Court executive director Prem Shah said he could not comment on the matter. DiSano said he believes Baker had worked there for a few months.

"At this time we don't believe there are any other victims," DiSano said.

Baker does not have any previous arrests in Florida, records show. He was in the Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Bristol Court opened in 2011 and has received favorable reviews for its specialized care for residents with illnesses associated with memory loss.

Records show the Agency for Health Care Administration fined the facility $1,000 in 2012 because two employees were allowed to begin work before their background checks were completed.

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

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