From the Print

Friends aide accused of assault

Yellow Springs police arrested a Friends Care Community employee last week for sexually assaulting one of the extended care center’s residents. The employee, Kevin Burns, who is 44 and lives in Bowersville, is being charged with rape, attempted rape and sexual battery, first, second and third degree felonies. He is being held at the Greene County Jail on $10,000 bond, according to investigating Officer Naomi Penrod on Tuesday, July 26.

The incident occurred on Saturday, July 16, around noon at Friends Extended Care Center, where an employee witnessed Burns sexually assaulting a physically and mentally disabled resident in her private room. There was no physical violence involved, but police were notified that afternoon and confirmed that a sexual encounter had occurred, Penrod said. Burns immediately fled to a hotel in Urbana, where police contacted him, and he confessed to the offense.

Burns had been working at Friends as a full-time state tested nursing assistant (STNA) for two years and was assigned to the care of the resident he assaulted, Penrod said. While in the week following the incident, the media reported that the incident was an isolated case, police now believe that Burns may have assaulted one additional victim at Friends, and possibly others outside the Yellow Springs jurisdiction, Police Chief John Grote said on Tuesday. Burns has no prior criminal record, and worked as a volunteer fire fighter and medic in Bowersville before taking the job at Friends, Penrod said.

Friends Executive Director Karl Zalar did not return phone calls this week, but according to a story in the Xenia Gazette, Friends held a meeting on Thursday night for staff and residents’ families to explain the situation. According to a public statement released by Friends last week, the care facility is working to ensure that the facility is a safe place for its residents.

“We are heartbroken by this event,” the release states.

Burns was arraigned in Greene County last week. He awaits a pretrial and trial in the coming months.

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