Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Kimberly Faneuf (age 49) of Cumberland, RI, pleaded guilty yesterday before Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel to one count of assault on a severely impaired person. Under the terms of the plea agreement, which was reached with the approval of the victim's family, Faneuf was sentenced to five years with 18 months to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. In addition, she was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service, must seek mental health counseling, and ordered to have no contact with the victim.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on July 29, 2013, Faneuf physically assaulted a nine-year old developmentally disabled boy who was in her care.
The parents of the boy left him in the care of Faneuf, a Licensed Nurse Practitioner (LPN) hired to care for their son in their home, while they went out to dinner, a rare occasion for the couple. While out to dinner, the parents remotely accessed a camera they had placed in his bedroom to monitor their son, who was prone to seizures. They witnessed Faneuf grabbing their son roughly, assaulting him, and tossing him on to his bed. They rushed home to confront Faneuf and provide aid to their son.
They immediately brought their son to Hasbro Children's Hospital where he was found to have a bruise on his arm, a bump on his head, and a blood spot in his left eye.
When questioned by Cranston Police, Faneuf offered no acceptable reasons for her behavior towards the boy, except to say she was overworked and tired, and admitted the care was "not up to standards" that evening. Cranston Police arrested Faneuf and charged her with one count of assaulting a severely impaired person. Immediately following her arrest, the Rhode Island Department of Health suspended her license to practice as a LPN.
"This young boy needed care and compassion, but in a fit of rage and anger, his caretaker physically assaulted him. As a professionally trained LPN, her actions are even more troubling. The developmentally disabled are among our most vulnerable population, often unable to report an assault or abuse. Had it not been for his loving parents installing a video camera to monitor their son's health, this assault very well may not have been reported and this defendant free to assault more patients," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
The case was investigated by Lt. Stephen Brooks of the Cranston Police Department and Special Assistant Attorney General Kurt Mutter prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.