MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A man who worked at an adult care facility in Mesa allegedly sexually abused one of the patients, an 85-year-old woman with dementia, and it might not be the first time.
Police arrested Manuel Corral, 58, over the weekend after the victim told the staff that he had assaulted her.
According to police, the victim told her son and then detectives that Corral went into her room while she was sleeping Friday night and sexually assaulted her in several ways, including raping her. Court documents say that a medical exam revealed injuries consistent with what she told investigators. Police said Corral also matches the woman's description of her attacker – a Hispanic man about 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Investigators say staff at the facility confirmed that Corral is the only man assigned to the woman's unit. He reportedly was the overnight caregiver.
This is not the first time Corral has faced accusations of abusing a patient. According to public court documents, he was a suspect in incidents, one of them sexual in nature, at three other facilities where he worked as an overnight caregiver.
The arresting officer noted the allegations in the probable cause for arrest statement. The earliest case was in 2012, when a woman said Corral forced her to perform oral sex on him. In 2014, there were allegations of physical abuse by two male patients. "During one of the 2014 cases the victim mentioned how Manuel would go into the female residents' room by himself and shut the door," according to his public court documents.
Detectives said after he was read his Miranda rights, Corral admitted going into the victim's room Friday and having sex with her. He was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, kidnapping, and sexual abuse, all of which are felonies. While the probable cause for arrest statement mentions previous allegations against Coral, his court documents do not list any prior arrests.
A judge set a secured appearance bond of $75,000. Should Corral post that, he will have to wear an ankle monitor and consent to supervision by Pretrial Services.
Heritage Village released the following statement about the case:
"We are deeply saddened regarding the incident of assault at our community. We are working in full cooperation with law enforcement and all governing agencies, and making every effort to restore comfort and peace of mind to our residents, families and staff. Out of respect for our resident’s privacy and HIPAA rights and to maintain the integrity of the investigation, we can only confirm that:
-On Sunday, Feb. 16, a resident reported an assault to a Med Tech.
-We immediately alerted law enforcement; an arrest was made and the employee has been terminated.
-All required background checks performed at time of hire for the former employee were clean and he holds a valid Arizona Fingerprint card from the Department of Public Safety.
Due to the ongoing and sensitive nature of the investigation, we will not be commenting further on this matter at this time to protect the resident’s privacy and the integrity of the investigative process."
Abuse at adult care facilities has been in the headlines, particularly here in Arizona, quite a bit since an incapacitated woman gave birth to a baby at Hacienda Healthcare without anybody knowing she was pregnant in December 2018.
One of the woman’s caregivers, Nathan Sutherland, was arrested after police say a DNA test showed that he is the baby’s father.
His criminal trial was slated to get underway next week, but the judge on Tuesday granted -- reluctantly -- a 60-day continuance.
The Hacienda case made national headlines after Arizona’s Family broke the story in January 2019.