An employee of a senior-living facility in Ocean County has been charged with sexual misconduct involving an octogenarian resident in his care.

The Division of Consumer Affairs on Tuesday announced that 32-year-old Michael A. Edwards, who also goes by Michael A. Donaldson, was arrested May 21 and charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact after another employee at Sunrise Senior Living facility in Jackson reported seeing Edwards molesting an 84-year-old woman in her room.

Authorities said Edwards placed his hand under the dementia patient's shirt and groped her breast.

Edwards has been fired. Late last month, the State Board of Nursing suspended Edwards' homemaker-home health aide certification while his criminal case proceeds in court.

News of this accusation comes days after prosecutors in Morris County announced the arrest of a 61-year-old maintenance technician at Arbor Terrace Morris Plains. Anthony Ligon was accused of raping an 82-year-old resident of that facility on Friday. Arbor Terrace Morris Plains said staff immediately called police, state regulators and notified the victim's family when they learned of the accusation.

Edwards so far is among eight certified homemaker-home health aides who are facing regulator action after being accused of crimes on or off the job, including murder.

Myrlande Dornelus, 41, of Elizabeth, had her certification suspended in May as a result of being charged with the April 13 slaying of a 62-year-old woman she was caring for.

Josefina Milagros Brito De Fernandez, 49, of Camden, had her certification temporarily suspended on June 15 as a result of being charged with possibly exposing the coronavirus to an 80-year-old woman who later died. Officials in May said she defied self-isolation orders and continued to care for the elderly woman without wearing a face covering or other protective equipment. Four other people living in the elderly woman's household also contracted COVID-19.

Emma Llanes, 57, of North Bergen, permanently lost her certification in May after pleading guilty to mistreating a 90-year-old bedridden patient in May 2019. Llanes was caught on video slapping the woman's legs, grabbing her neck, shoving her head and mistreating her.

Elizabeth H. Dungee, 33, of Roselle, had her certification suspended in January as a result of being charged with stealing a credit card in October from a patient at Brightview Senior Living in Warren. Prosecutors said she used the card to make $240 worth of purchases. She was arrested and charged in December.

Yolanda A. Penalo De Gonzalez, 40, of Hackensack, had her certification temporarily suspended on June 29 as a result of criminal charges stemming from a personal domestic dispute in March. She was charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and domestic violence.

Oleg Protas, 53, of Marlton, permanently lost his certification in February after pleading guilty to a 2017 criminal sexual contact charge involving a woman he knew.

Adeola S. Pade, 53, of Plainsboro, had her certification suspended in February as a result of a December hit-and-run crash that killed a person in East Windsor.

Take action

Learn how to apply for the Consumer Affairs Division Safe Care Cam program.

Report suspected abuse by a licensed health care professional by calling 973-504-6200.

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