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911 calls abound from personal care home, but possible repeated rape by registered sex offender not among them

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The recent arrest of a personal care home employee was the result of just one of more than 200 calls to 911 from the home. But the possible repeated rape of a dementia patient by a registered sex offender at the home was never reported to law enforcement by the owner of the home, or state regulators who knew of the allegations.

The Augusta Press began investigating Sunrise at Parkway following the March 17 arrest of Olga Marie Acevedo, a 30-year-old supervisor at the personal care home at 1339 Interstate Parkway. She was charged with neglect of a vulnerable adult after she allegedly kicked a disabled resident out of the home who was later found wandering down the street.

ACEVEDO, OLGA MARIA – 03/18/2022 – Neglect to a Disabled Adult, Elder Person or Resident

It wasn’t the first time sheriff officers were sent to Sunrise, one of three homes owned by Elizabeth Matos, according to local and state records. The Press found that first responders were sent to Sunrise 205 times in the past two years, that’s about 50 more calls that went out during the same time period for Dogwood Terrace, the public housing apartment complex where a little girl was killed in a Jan. 8 drive-by shooting.

Missing from the 911 calls, however, was any report of sexual assault at Sunrise in the fall of 2020.

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The Press found mention of the alleged crime among state inspection reports of numerous complaints filed about Sunrise. A complaint was made to the state regulatory entity that an advanced dementia patient who couldn’t communicate was being repeated raped by another Sunrise resident, a registered sex offender.

The state of Georgia is responsible for the regulation of personal care homes and other long-term facilities for disabled and elderly adults. The state’s Department of Community Heathcare Facility Regulation Division is tasked with the inspection personal care homes and investigation of complaints. It is the only state agency with the power to force compliance, fine or close a personal care home.

Since October 2018, there have been 16 complaint investigations at Sunrise, but the state agency has taken no action against the home’s owner, according to their public records and statement to The Press. That includes the report of the sexual assaults.

According to an Oct. 13, 2020, report, the complaint was made to the agency a month earlier about a resident going into another resident’s room and having sex with woman, the latest alleged assault occurring Aug. 31, 2020. The Healthcare Facility’s employee talked to the alleged offender, one of two registered sex offenders living at Sunrise, “staff A” and another patient at the facility who was not the alleged victim.

When asked what resulted from the investigation and why law enforcement was not notified, Fiona Roberts, public information officer for the Department of Public Health, reported by email that the complaint was determined to be unfounded, staff was retrained as to the requirement to report such incidents to the department, and there were no repeat “deficiencies” found in later inspections.


In October 2020, there was a special task force in the Augusta Judicial Circuit which investigated possible neglect or abuse of vulnerable adults.

William Loomer, now an investigator with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, was in charge of the team, Crimes Against Vulnerable and Elderly task force.

Neither Loomer nor then district attorney Natalie Paine were informed of the rape allegations at Sunrise, they said this month.

Loomer and Paine were shocked when provided copies of the October 2020 report. In Georgia, having sexual contact with a person who is unable to give consent is a crime.

“Law enforcement should definitely have been notified of these allegations,” Loomer said by email.
“Sexual assault investigations are complex and involve many different aspects. Victims of sexual assault require examinations, follow up support, (tests for sexually transmitted disease), specialized interviews and much more. Alleged perpetrators need to be interviewed, and evidence opportunities need to be considered.”

“The question also arises of whether or not clients and their families are made aware that should they potentially fall prey to a serious crime while in a facility, law enforcement may never be notified,” Loomer said. “The C.A.V.E. Task Force found numerous circumstances of issues being swept under the rug, and unfortunately this appears to be another.”

There have been 205 calls to 911 concerning Sunrise personal care home. The Press filed an Open Records request with Richmond County Sheriff’s Office to see 22 incident reports involving Sunrise that might concern violence or missing residents. It took two weeks and $55 to receive 10 reports. Officers didn’t bother filing incident reports for 12 calls, half of which involved reports of missing patients. One call concerned a report of neglect or abuse of a vulnerable adult.

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The owner of Sunrise, Elizabeth Matos, is also listed in state records as the owner of True Care personal care home on Central Avenue and True Care of Augusta on Milton Road. There were 49 calls to 911 from the Milton Road home and 68 at the Central Avenue home in the past two years.

While the majority of the 911 calls from the three personal care homes were for emergency medical services, there were calls concerning possible missing residents, theft or fraud, welfare check requests, and abuse or neglect.

The Healthcare Facilities inspection reports for the three homes have documented other problems that could impact residents’ safety and health at the homes.

Problems noted, some repeatedly, included

– lack of assessment to determine what daily living activities residents may need assistance with, such as taking medication, eating, and bathing
– the administration of medications to residents had gone undocumented, which means it wasn’t possible to ensure medications were provided; no proof staff was trained as required for first aid, CPR and safety, lack of documented proof employees were tested for communicable disease such as TB or passed criminal background checks
– only one untrained employee left to care for multiple patients patient medications not refilled for such medicines for diabetes and colon cancer
– a patient sent to the hospital with a blood glucose level nearly four times higher than a level requiring insulin failing to report an assault that left a patient with a black eye and bloody nose.

On March 17, Richmond County Sheriff deputies arrested Olga Acevedo at Sunrise after officers found a 56-year-old disabled woman wandering the street after Acevedo allegedly put her out of the home.

Responding deputies had told Acevedo earlier that day that neither they nor she could put the woman out of the home unless there was a family member to take her, or the woman needed hospitalization.

After requesting to speak to the officers’ supervisor and then ordering the officers out of the personal care home, Acevedo allegedly put the woman out of the home, according to the incident report.

Acevedo was released on bond. No indictment has been returned against her. If there was another routine or complaint inspection by the Healthcare Facilities division since March, it has not been made public.

Sandy Hodson is a staff reporter covering courts for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected]. 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Augusta-Richmond County may not be able to suspend the state-issued license for these facilities, but they could pull their county business licenses or refuse to renew them. The fire department could inspect them out of business. The crimes occurring in these facilities are more heinous than dancing in a bar/restaurant that is not licensed as a dance hall.

  2. The reporting agencies have dropped the ball. The fact that the number of incidents reported has not set off alarm bells is a travesty. I agree wholeheartedly with Todd’s comment; these are heinous crimes!

  3. When the new district attorney abolished the CAVE task force he left sone of the most vulnerable of our society unprotected . These people can not speak for themselves and now they have no one in authority to speak for them . Shame on the district attorney for leaving them like this

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