Massillon, OH – A former nursing assistant was arrested on Thursday after she filmed herself sexually assaulting multiple dementia patients at The Inn at University Village.
Someone emailed copies of the videos that 23-year-old Tiara Lynn Ford filmed of herself “sexually assaulting elderly residents of the facility” to administrators at the nursing home in February, WEWS reported.
Investigators believe that Ford filmed the assaults on her personal cell phone.
The Inn at University Village immediately referred the matter to the Massillon police and the facility “has been in full cooperation with the investigation,” WEWS reported.
“Shock. Shock. That’s about the best way to describe my reaction to this,” Massillon Police Detective David McConnell said.
Investigators said that Ford committed the sex crimes against nursing home residents who were suffering from dementia, WEWS reported.
Stark County court records showed the incidents occurred between Dec. 1, 2019 and Dec. 4, 2021, the Canton Repository reported.
Records showed the victims were men in their late 80s and early 90s and alleged Ford knew their “ability to consent or resist was substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.”
“Some of them couldn’t even speak,” Det. McConnell said. “You know, they’re elderly, didn’t know what was going on and she did it for her own personal gratification.”
He said Ford resigned from The Inn at University Village in December of 2021, WEWS reported.
The detective said that Ford admitted to filming the assaults after she was arrested.
“And she admitted to all these, admitted to taking these videos of herself,” Det. McConnell said.
Ford has been charged with one count of rape, a first-degree felony, and two counts of gross sexual imposition, which are both fourth-degree felonies, according to WEWS.
She was booked into the Stark County Jail on March 3 and held without bond pending an arraignment scheduled for March 11.
Massillon police said the investigation was ongoing and encouraged any other families of residents with concerns or information about Ford to come forward.
“I don’t believe there are [others], but we are going to make sure there are not,” Det. McConnell told WEWS.
Ford was a certified, state tested nursing assistant (STNA).
Pete Van Runkle, the executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association, said all the facilities which use STNAs are required to do perform background checks prior to hiring them, WEWS reported.
“There is a requirement for a fingerprint-based background check,” Van Runkle explained.