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Ex-aide admits to nursing home abuse

Associated Press

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — A former nursing home aide from Montevideo has pleaded guilty to three counts of disorderly conduct against vulnerable adults.

Maria Josephine Bjerke, 25, pleaded guilty on Monday to three of the six original abuse counts against her. The charges are gross misdemeanors.

District Judge Bruce Christopherson accepted the plea agreement. Prosecutors say it would have been a difficult case to try because two victims are dead and some others have dementia.

In the plea, Bjerke admitted wrongdoing against three residents of the Luther Haven Nursing Home in Montevideo from late 2006 to mid-2008.

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Among other things, the complaint alleged sexual humiliation of one man, laughing and screaming at residents and hurting a resident by poking into a cancerous wound.

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