Lafayette living facility fires employee, arrested for alleged abuse of a resident

Posted at 7:55 PM, Aug 03, 2018

An employee at an assisted living facility in Lafayette has been fired and arrested following the alleged abuse of a resident.

Karen Sonnier is under arrest for "cruelty to the infirmed."

Following her arrest, she was fired from "The Blake at Lafayette."

Tonight, that patient is ok. The executive director at The Blake wouldn’t detail the alleged abuse, but they are working to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The living facility is meant to be a safe space for its elderly residents.

But recently, family members of one resident allegedly saw a now former employee mistreating  their loved one through cameras in their room.

"Once we were notified by the family, our first step was to immediately remove the employee from the facility. We want to make sure that we’re taking care of our residents and we determined that this was inappropriate behavior," said Susan Begnaud, executive director of The Blake at Lafayette.

She says her mother also lives at the facility, so the issue hit especially close to home.

"[I was] repulsed, upset, mad, emotional," she said.

The facility filed a report with Lafayette Police and says they are considering legal action.

Begnaud said another employee was also terminated for witnessing the incident and not reporting it.

"My job is to make sure these residents feel happy and safe and I feel like there was a flaw in that process for this one particular incident," she said.

Begnaud said the employee came with good references and they never expected this would happen.

Now they are trying to ensure no other mistreatments occur.

"Well we have cameras throughout the building and we encourage families to put cameras in the room if they choose to do that. And again we have one-on-one training with the employees and we also have room checks every two hours. So we have the supervision and the things– we feel this was an isolated incident," she ensured.   

The facility wouldn’t elaborate on what exactly took place between the employee and the resident.