Sturgis man pleads not guilty to stealing from assisted living resident – Black Hills Pioneer

DEADWOOD — A former local assisted living center employee who allegedly stole checks from an 87-year-old resident, wrote them out to himself, and signed them off the victim’s account, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him Thursday before 4th Circuit Court Judge Michelle Comer at the Lawrence County Courthouse.

Gavin Dean Hunter Rosenau, 19, of Sturgis was indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury Aug. 25 and charged with five counts of forgery, one for each of five different checks allegedly written to himself on the victim’s bank account. Each count is a Class 5 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The indictment also charges him with grand theft, more than $5,000, but less than $100,000 against the same victim, a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

According to court documents, on Aug. 10 at approximately 5:03 p.m., the daughter the victim reported that Rosenau, a resident aide at the facility, had allegedly stolen checks from her mother and that Rosenau was a caretaker entrusted with the property, health, and welfare of the residents at the facility.

The daughter has power of attorney over her mother’s resources and reportedly received a bank statement in the mail for her mother’s account and found that there were five checks written to Rosenau totaling $5,400. All five checks are allegedly made out to Rosenau and endorsed by Rosenau. The owner of the Garden Hills Assisted Living reportedly told police that Rosenau admitted to stealing the checks, wrote them out, forged the victim’s signature, and cashed them.

The victim in the case is unable to sign her name.

Rosenau’s employment was terminated.

Police interviewed Rosenau Aug. 16 at approximately 4:30 p.m., when, after being read his Miranda rights, he invoked his rights and declined to talk. He was placed under arrest, police explained the charges he was facing, and he was booked into the Lawrence County Jail.

Lawrence County Chief Deputy Pat Johnson said Thursday Rosenau is free on $5,000 cash or surety.

Rosenau is scheduled to appear in court again Oct. 7.

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