AZDHS reveals new issues at Phoenix area care facility where employee is accused of sexual assault

We are learning about more issues at a long-term care facility in Goodyear, where a former employee is accused of raping and impregnating a patient.

As Arizona’s Department of Health issued more citations, new allegations of abuse are coming to light at Palm Valley Post Acute.

For context, the incident took place about a month after a former certified nursing assistant was fired over allegations of sexual assault, which, according to AZDHS, took weeks for the facility to report.

We've been combing through the investigation done in December 2023, and the new findings reveal that delays in reporting incidents have been a recurring issue.

According to AZDHS officials, Palm Valley failed to follow its own policy in reporting and investigating abuse. Their policy states that allegations are to be reported within two hours, if there's a serious injury, or within 24 hours, if there is no injury.

Documents also reveal that a staff member should be removed once there's an allegation of abuse, but in August 2022, AZDHS officials say dhs says that did not happen after a staff member was accused of abuse.

Palm Valley did report the allegation to the state, but the employee told officials she didn't remember the incident, and was never suspended.

In November 2023, records show a nurse's note documented a resident's claim that she was picked up by a man and thrown on a bed. The manager said once the employee found out about the allegation, the accused employee should have been removed from the building. The manager told AZDHS officials that they were not aware of the incident until the residents family reported it a day later.

Another incident on December 12, 2022 detailed the death of a 65-year-old man who had dementia.

AZDHS officials say a night shift employee interviewed, told them the resident fell out of a wheelchair and found on the floor early that morning. The resident sustained a bad bruise to his head.

In an interview with AZDHS a year later, the staff member who found the resident said he was already dead when he got there. Investigators say the fall was reported to the director of nursing but not to the facility's administrator. The findings also show there were issues of residents physically attacking each other.

In total, AZDHS issued five citations, and records show Palm Valley Post Acute made corrections back in February.

We reached out to a spokesperson for comment on the latest findings, but we have not heard back.

As for the case Goodyear Police submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office that accuses former CNA Bobby Williams of sexual assault, that case is still under review.