Man accused of inappropriately touching developmentally-disabled woman at Gilbert care center

GILBERT, Ariz. (FOX 10) - Police say a man has been arrested after he inappropriately touched a developmentally-disabled woman at a Gilbert care center.

According to the Gilbert Police Department, 40-year-old Abram Grace was arrested on May 15 after a 31-year-old developmentally-disabled woman told a staff member at the care center that she was touched inappropriately. He now faces charges for sexual assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult. He had been a caregiver for the victim for 10 years at Neely House in Gilbert for 10 years. According to court records, he confessed to touching the victim and went on to say that he thought she would appreciate it.

"It's unfortunate and we are in full cooperation with authorities and parties at this time," said Kristin Olsen, day program supervisor at Neely House.

Neely House in Gilbert has been operating an Adult Day program for 11 years and currently serves 59 clients. This case involves a long-time employee and a 31-year-old woman who's been a client for several years. Court records reveal she functions at the cognitive level of a 10-12-year-old. The victim told staff members that Abram inappropriately touched her while they were watching a movie, which made her feel sad and confused. The center says their surveillance camera captured the incident. The staff contacted police and parents and put Abram on leave.

"We are working on restructuring some of our policies at this time," Olsen said.

Police arrested Abram at his Mesa home. His mother was unaware of the charges.

"You're telling me he did something at Neely House," the suspect's mother said. "I don't know anything about that."

She says her son had been working at Neely House for about 10 years and would sometimes tell her about patients he claims would make advances toward him.

"He's telling me all the time he has to push [people] away or whatever, even the men," she said. "[He] comes home sometimes with his short torn [and] scratches [but] he says that's just part of the job."

According to court records, Abram admitted to police he intentionally touched the victim's private area and acknowledged it was gratifying to him. The victim was seen crying afterward.

Abram's ail was set at $100,000 - cash only.