A 23-year-old nursing assistant in Ohio was arrested this week after authorities say she filmed herself sexually assaulting and raping multiple elderly male residents with dementia at an assisted living facility where she worked. Tiara Lynn Ford was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon and charged with one count of rape, a first-degree felony, and two counts of gross sexual imposition, both fourth-degree felonies, court records reviewed by Law&Crime indicate.
Additional court documents obtained by Cincinnati ABC affiliate WEWS say Ford’s arrest came after the Massillon Police Department conducted a two-week investigation into allegations of sexual assaults at The Inn at University Village. During the investigation, detectives reportedly obtained “video recordings of Ms. Ford sexually assaulting elderly residents of the facility,” police reportedly said in a press release obtained by the TV station. Ford’s victims were reportedly men in their late 80s and early 90s.
A person who police did not identify in a probable cause affidavit reportedly sent the videos to the assisted living facility in February. Upon receiving the videos, the facility is said to have contacted the police and sparked the investigation.
Per WEWS, Ford allegedly used a cell phone to record herself committing sexual assault against several men living with dementia before she resigned from her role as a state-tested nurse’s aide in December.
“Shock. Shock. That’s about the best way to describe my reaction to this,” Massillon Police Detective David McConnell told WEWS. “Some of them couldn’t even speak. You know, they’re elderly, didn’t know what was going on and she did it for her own personal gratification.”
Court documents filed in Stark County Common Pleas Court allege that Ford began filming her alleged sexual assaults Dec. 1, 2019, and continued the alleged criminal behavior until Dec. 4, 2021, The Repository (a Canton, Ohio newspaper) reported. Prosecutors reportedly alleged that Ford was fully aware that her alleged victims “ability to consent or resist was substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.”
Following her arrest, police said that Ford confessed to intentionally filming the assaults.
“[S]he admitted to all these, admitted to taking these videos of herself,” Det. McConnell reportedly said.
The Inn said it had already notified residents’ families about the alleged assaults.
“The safety and well-being of our residents is our highest priority. We have recently been notified that a former employee was involved in mistreating residents,” the facility said in a statement to WEWS. “We immediately notified the involved families, police department and other appropriate authorities. We are fully cooperating with the authorities in their investigation. Because of the ongoing investigation and HIPAA laws, we are unable to comment further at this time.”
Ford was processed and booked at the Stark County Jail; she remained there as of Friday evening. She is scheduled to appear in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas before Judge Kristin Farmer for her arraignment on March 11.
Det. McConnell reportedly told WEWS that while police do not think there are more victims, detectives are keeping the investigation open and encouraging any family members who are concerned to contact the department.
“I don’t believe there are, but we are going to make sure there are not,” McConnell reportedly said.
[image via Massillon Police Dept.]
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