Woman claims mother was sexually assaulted by employee at Tucson nursing home

Nursing home investigation, Tucson police look into assault of patient

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An investigation is underway at a Tucson nursing home after a woman who lives at the facility reported she was sexually assaulted by an employee.

“Obviously, you can’t trust anybody," said Selina Poss, the resident’s daughter.

Poss said her 63-year-old mother receives around-the-clock care at Sapphire Tucson Nursing and Rehabilitation, 2900 E. Melber Street.

While she said the family had issues with her mother’s care before, it was a call over the weekend that stopped her in her tracks.

During the phone call, Poss said her mother told her she was sexually assaulted by a nurse tech she was unfamiliar with. The resident said, according to Poss, the man put his genitals in her hand and then started inappropriately touching her.

“He told her, ‘This is our secret,'" Poss said.

Poss claimed her mother told other employees what happened before their phone call, but nothing was done.

“They didn’t call. To me, an incident like that, you call somebody and then you get that person to the hospital so they can be tested," Poss said. "I mean, who knows how many other females he’s done this to?”

The Tucson Police Department confirmed a report was made Sunday, June 23. According to a case management document provided by Poss, a detective was assigned to the investigation Tuesday, June 25.

Poss said she is frustrated over the lack of help by the facility.

“They just give us every runaround. Nobody really talks, nobody says anything," Poss said. "Everything I’ve found out, I basically had to call, to make the report for my mom.”

KOLD News 13 reached out to Sapphire for information regarding the alleged sexual assault that occurred on or around June 21. In a statement, an administrator with the facility wrote:

“As with any allegation of abuse or neglect, senior living facilities are required to investigate, as well as inform the proper authorities. The investigation by the facility and the authorities is ongoing and will be concluded.”

“It’s hard to watch her. It’s hard to see what it’s done to her," Poss said. “She’s already had a traumatic life. She’s already had to go through stuff, I’m supposed to be her protector. I’m the one who is supposed to take care of her and I just feel like I failed.”

Poss said she plans to pursue legal action as they wait on test results taken at the hospital after the alleged sexual assault.

For the time being, Poss said her mother has been moved to another room at the facility on what she describes as a floor with more security. She said she is working with her mother’s insurance provider to get her moved into her home for care.

Poss said she won’t stop fighting for an answer. Not just for her mother, but for other residents at the facility.

“I’m going to do everything in my power ... to make sure this man is not going to do it again," Poss said.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Sapphire of Tucson Nursing and Rehab, LLC has a quality rating of “B.”

The quality rating is based on results of the most recent licensing survey. AZDHS notes the quality rating does not necessarily reflect the facility’s current compliance.

The facility received 45 citations during a yearly survey in January. The severity of most of the citations were graded C, D, E or F, which ranges from “widespread minimal harm” to “potential for more than minimal harm.”

According to AZDHS online records, all of the citations were corrected by April.

KOLD News 13 reached out to the Arizona Department of Health Services for comment on the allegations. As of Tuesday evening, we had not yet heard back.

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