Personal support worker headed to jail for 90 days for abusing elderly patient
A personal support worker who repeatedly punched a 89-year-old patient in the face will spend 90 days in jail.
In July, Jie Xiao, 44, pleaded guilty to assaulting 89-year-old Georges Karam at the Garry J Armstrong long term care facility in March, 2017.
On Friday, October 20, 2017 Justice Julie Bourgeois handed down a 90 day sentence to be served intermittently. Xiao will spend 48 hours per week in jail so he can continue working and supporting his family. Xiao is the family's bread winner and a permanent resident, meaning a long sentence would put him at risk of deportation.
Daniel Nassrallah put the surveillance camera in his grandfather's room after failed attempts to get answers about his care. Nassrallah, also a lawyer, says the judge's decision is too lenient.
"She ended up putting his family's interests ahead of this whole population that will be affected and directly impacted by this dangerous precedent set in court today in Ottawa," Nassrallah says.
Nassrallah says the sentence will not act as a deterrent and will in fact serve as a precedent for future elderly abuse cases currently in the pipeline.
"I am confused \how our legal system, not our justice system, could drop the ball in this case," he says.
Nassrallah says it's not the length of the sentence that bothers him but the fact that Xiao will be able to work his jail time around his work and personal schedules.
"We are running a club med system here," he says.
Since the disturbing video surfaced, the city of Ottawa was issued a blanket order by the province to improve the safety and care in three of its four long term care facilities. The city also launched a third party, independent investigation into its four long term care facilities that house approximately 721 people.
Xiao will undergo stress and anger therapy and is on probation for 18 months. It is believed he will then be able to return to work as a personal support worker, though most employers do require a criminal background check.