Nurse Faces Jail Time for Sexually Assaulting Elderly Woman with Dementia

SANTA ANA - A nurse is set to begin serving a one-year jail sentence next month after being found guilty of sexually assaulting an 87-year-old woman afflicted with dementia at a senior living facility in Santa Ana, as detailed in court records disclosed on Monday.

Juan Sandoval, aged 35 and a resident of Orange, entered a guilty plea on Tuesday, admitting to charges of assault with the intent to commit a sex offense and sexual battery on an institutional victim, both of which are felony offenses. As part of a negotiated plea agreement, a separate felony charge of lewd act with a dependent adult by a caretaker was dropped.

Under the terms of his sentencing, Sandoval will spend 364 days behind bars and will be mandated to participate in a sex offender rehabilitation program. Additionally, he will be placed on formal probation for a duration of six years. The scheduled date for Sandoval to commence his jail term is October 13.

The distressing incident in question prompted law enforcement to respond to the Sunflower Gardens Senior Living Facility on February 25, 2021. Authorities had received a report alleging that a caretaker at the nursing home had sexually assaulted a resident earlier that same day, according to the Santa Ana police.

Sandoval, in the course of his duties, led the elderly woman down a hallway to a bedroom, where he committed the sexual assault. The heinous act was witnessed by a co-worker passing by the room, who confronted Sandoval. Subsequently, Sandoval "got dressed" and left the room, investigators revealed.

Swiftly, the co-worker alerted a supervisor to the incident. Upon the arrival of law enforcement officers, Sandoval was still on the premises and was taken into custody without resistance, according to police reports.