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02-02-2010, 01:06 PM #46Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
￼￼Ironically, the very day this case broke, we received a letter in the mail. It was from our local agency which works with people with Developmental Disabilities. We parent and care for a teen in foster care who has DD and an adult adopted daughter who has DD. I found this very interesting that we are being reminded of these issues just a month after Jeanette Maples was murdered. I still have a suspicion that Jeanette was diagnosed with some sort of special need. I'm pasting the contents of the letter below and will follow in the next post with the official change to the law. I would imagine that Laura's mother should have received information like this from time to time.
Very Important Information! Abuse Law in Oregon Changes
The flyer that comes with this letter explains changes to the legal definitions for actions that are now considered ABUSE or NEGLECT of Adults with Developmental Disabilities (DD).* The new law increases the types of actions that are covered and it includes these actions when they occur in the family home. The new law applies to all adults with DD who receive services, including brokerage services.* The rule covers people being paid to provide care as well as others who have a trust relationship like family, boyfriend/girlfriend who are not being paid.
CREATIVE SUPPORTS, INC. recognizes that some families, close friends or providers may be handling situations in a way that may now be considered abuse.
We want to help you identify these situations before they cause a problem.
We want to help you come up with other ways to deal with these situations.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I ever restrain an adult with Developmental Disabilities by holding them when they are trying to do something I don’t think they should do? Lock them out of, or into, a room in the home?
Do I ever yell at this person and threaten to take away their personal items, food or threaten them with harm?
Do I ever use money from their SSI, wages, food stamps or other benefits for things that do not support them?
Have I failed to provide the supervision or care for them that resulted in harm or a significant risk of harm? Have I neglected to take them to the doctor or hospital when they needed urgent care or leaving them alone when I knew they would be hurt if I did?
These are just a few of the situations that are now covered as ABUSE in the new law.* If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions or if you think of other situations that you have questions about, please contact the Personal Agent you are working with to discuss alternatives.
Remember that all CREATIVE SUPPORTS, INC. staff and providers paid with Support Service Funds are mandatory abuse reporters. As such, they must report any suspected abuse that happens after 1/1/2010 according to these new rules.
These are new rules and we want you to become aware of them. CREATIVE SUPPORTS, INC. staff is awaiting further training and instruction on how to carry out these new rules. As always, we will try to keep you informed of important information as we get it.
I called our worker and let her know that I truly appreciated the head's up and that we remain committed to a safe home. I shared with her the story of Laura's sad death. It is my hope that Laura's death will be a catalyst for some tangible change to the laws and accountability in every state.
02-02-2010, 01:19 PM #47Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
This is the official notice which all Oregon families and individuals received who are caring for an adult with DD. Of course, I realize that Laura wasn't even fully integrated into the system. I realize that it is doubtful that her mother would ever even read these documents. I just wanted to share what families are told and what safety measures are expected and required by law.
Oregon House Bill 2442 has changed the legal definitions of abuse for adults with developmental disabilities beginning January 1st, 2010. Abuse definitions are now the same no matter what type of service a person is receiving. All care providers and people who have a trust relationship with an individual are subject to the new definitions.
Here is a summary of the abuse definitions for which protective services are provided and an abuse investigation must be conducted:
Abandonment – desertion by a caregiver who has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the person’s care.
Financial exploitation – wrongfully taking or threatening to take funds or property, misusing money, failing to use a person’s money for their benefit.
Involuntary Seclusion – restricting freedom of movement to a part of a facility or program for convenience of a caregiver or as discipline, unless agreed to in a plan. This includes confinement in a home setting.
Neglect – withholding services needed for the health and well-being of a person (such as food, medical care) and that causes harm. Failing to provide the necessary care, supervision and services that causes harm or creates a significant risk of harm.
Physical abuse – inflicting pain or injury or injury by other than accidental means or injuries appearing to be at variance with the explanation.
Restraint – physical or chemical restraint not part of a plan or prescribed by a doctor.
Sexual abuse – nonconsensual sexual contact, harassment or exploitation. Sexual contact with an employee, paid caregiver or any relative (except spouse or partner.)
Verbal abuse – including threats, derogatory names, ridicule, humiliation directed at the person. Failing to make a reasonable effort to protect the person under their care.
For further information on the changes contact your local county abuse investigator or the DHS Office of Investigations and Training at 2575 Bittern St., NE (Yaquina Hall, #33) Salem, OR 97310. Phone: (503) 945-9495
02-03-2010, 10:29 PM #48Women are Angels.
And when someone breaks our wings,
we simply continue to fly... on a broomstick.
We're flexible like that.
02-03-2010, 10:40 PM #49
RIP Laura, you have no more fear, and no more pain.Women are Angels.
And when someone breaks our wings,
we simply continue to fly... on a broomstick.
We're flexible like that.
02-06-2010, 09:53 AM #50
Investigators ask for help in North Collins murder
Kenyon was asked whether Laura Cummings was capable of seeking to get out of the home.
"We have reason to believe that at times she was threatened," he said. She had been enrolled in a special-education program, but apparently left that program when her mother thought it wasn't doing her any good.
"In the back of our minds, we wonder if that was the real reason," Kenyon said.
Some family members had tried to get Laura Cummings removed from the family's North Collins apartment, and they claimed they called Erie County's Adult Protective Services unit on multiple occasions. The county's Social Services Department has refused to comment on the specific case.
Several times, Kenyon referred to the abuse of the young woman as "horrendous" or "beyond description."
"From the heart, I wish I could lay everything out for you," he said. "I can't."
Updated news article from the Buffalo News.
Last edited by Angel4u2Whisper2; 02-06-2010 at 09:58 AM.
The Following User Says Thank You to Angel4u2Whisper2 For This Useful Post:
02-06-2010, 10:04 AM #51Inactive
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
02-26-2010, 06:01 PM #52
Mother, son charged with disabled NY woman’s death
By Associated Press
Friday, February 26, 2010 - Added 3m ago
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York woman and her son are charged in the death of the woman’s 23-year-old mentally disabled daughter who, according to investigators, was repeatedly raped, beaten and scalded and had her face pushed into feces.
An Erie County grand jury Friday returned a multi-count indictment against 51-year-old Eva Cummings and her 31-year-old son, Luke Wright, both of North Collins outside Buffalo.
Cummings is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly suffocating Laura Cummings last month. The mother and son face additional charges including predatory sexual assault, unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime and endangering a disabled person’s welfare.
Both are jailed with arraignment set for Monday. The court had no attorneys listed.
Poor Laura - her life was worse than what was originally reported....I wanna scream out loud for her.
ETA -- link to .PDF of indictment - Laura's treatment was brutal & heinous **warning - very disturbing**
Last edited by Texas Mist; 02-26-2010 at 06:30 PM.
02-26-2010, 06:21 PM #53
Let me warn you guys-the PDF is very, very difficult to READ WARNING.
We owe it to Laura to understand the degree to which she was failed by the agencies. She was miserably, miserably, miserably failed.
Are you even listening??? There is no excuse.
02-26-2010, 06:27 PM #54
I swear this one might just kick me over. I am so glad she is safe now. So glad that her life of suffering is over. So glad, I hate to type it, that mom and brother's has just begun. This is the kind of case that tests me....almost beyond endurance.
The agencies involved better have their ducks in a row.
02-26-2010, 06:27 PM #55
02-26-2010, 06:28 PM #56
I just have to know what they said when they called after they had killed her....she slipped in the tub? Fell out of bed???
02-26-2010, 10:56 PM #57
Thank you so much for the update. I am so sad and angry at the abuse she suffered. I am angry at the system that failed her and the laws that didn't protect her!
03-01-2010, 05:14 PM #58
The short life and long tortured death of Laura Cummings
Abused victim was mentally disabled
By Jay Tokasz and Gene Warner
News Staff Reporters
Updated: February 27, 2010, 10:08 am /Published: February 27, 2010, 12:15 pm
A good night for Laura Cummings meant being allowed to sleep on the kitchen floor in her family’s North Collins home.
Usually in the weeks leading up to her death, she was forced to sleep shackled to a metal chair with a sack over her face.
Days were even more nightmarish for the 23-year-old mentally disabled woman, who was held captive and brutalized, allegedly by her own mother and half brother, according to an Erie County Grand Jury indictment returned Friday.
Cummings’ short life ended Jan. 21 with a long, tortuous death and a trail of missed chances to get her to safety.
“There were a lot of people who knew what was going on and said nothing, and that is a sad commentary on the human condition,” said District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.
Clues and reports about mistreatment inside the apartment at 2052 Sherman Ave. popped up frequently over the years.
Siblings and other relatives said they called Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services. Whispers floated around town, including at the food pantry, that Cummings was being tied up at home.
“This is the problem today — nobody wants to get involved,” added Caroline Lee, who lives down the street from the Cummings apartment.
The pantry was one of the few places in town where Laura Cummings, a petite woman with short brown hair who rarely made eye contact with people, was seen in public away from her home.
Finnerty, who has prosecuted a number of heinous crimes in his 17 years in the DA’s office, called it “the worst case I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s sadistic, and it’s allegedly sustained over a long period of time,” he said.
That was especially true of the unlawful imprisonment of Laura Cummings, in the weeks preceding her death.
“She’s restrained more often than she’s not,” Sheriff’s Capt. Ronald L. Kenyon said.
At other times, she was treated as an inanimate object, draped with a blanket so that visitors who stopped by the apartment wouldn’t know she was there, according to authorities.
Laura Cummings’ tragic life might have gone in a different direction on several occasions, starting when she was a youngster, according to various sources.
As a child, she and other siblings were placed with foster families in Florida that tried unsuccessfully to adopt the children, said Patricia Wright, Laura’s half-sister.
The Cummings household, in North Collins and prior to that in Olean, was well-known to Child Protective Services in Erie and Cattaraugus counties, family members said.
Patricia Wright, 27, said she reported abuse to Erie County Child Protective Services and Erie County Family Court more than a decade ago.
“I stopped talking to them when I was 17 years old because there was nothing being done,” said Wright, who was legally adopted by a family friend and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in forestry management. “I kept trying to tell them, ‘You need to get those kids out of there. And they said, ‘No there’s nothing we can do.’‚”
Patricia Wright said she was physically abused for years, resulting in a broken ankle and cracked vertebrae in her back.
“I would get hit with baseball bats, spoons — anything that mom could grab a hold of,” she said. “We got hurt every day. She didn’t take us to the hospital.”
She was even locked in a closet for a week, and her brother, Luke, sneaked her bread and water, she said.
After spending time at a facility for teenagers, Patricia Wright was legally adopted by Roland Grotke, a neighbor of her grandparents in East Otto.
She said she tried to return to the home and rescue Laura, but was rebuffed by her mother.
“I knew my Mom was kind of off upstairs,” said Patricia Wright. “I knew she was incapable of taking care of a person like Laura, who needed that extra help.”
Neither Richard Cummings nor Patricia Wright had been allowed to visit Laura Cummings in recent years, they said.
But other relatives were in regular contact with her, including another brother, Eddie Cummings, who lived in the house but is not a suspect in the abuse. Eddie Cummings, who left the house for work each morning by 7 a.m. and didn’t return until after 9 p.m., declined to speak with The News.
no words right now....just tears for Laura
Cummings, Wright enter innocent pleas on 15 charges
By Gene Warner
News Staff Reporter
Updated: March 01, 2010, 4:04 pm / Published: March 01, 2010, 3:56 pm
The mother and half-brother of a mentally disabled North Collins homicide victim both pleaded innocent today to physically and sexually abusing her, during an arraignment that raised the question of whether the defendants can get a fair trial.
The attorneys for Eva M. Cummings, 51, and her son, Luke J. Wright, 31, entered innocent pleas on a total of 15 counts in connection with the abuse that police say led to the suffocation death of Laura Cummings, 23, on Jan. 21.
03-01-2010, 05:35 PM #59
I see-she sodomized herself, scalded herself and suffocated herself. While being tied to a chair.
03-01-2010, 06:50 PM #60
Attorneys argue that the public scorn is unfair to his client, well I got news for him..abusing Laura in ways the mind can not even venture to go-now that my friend is a true example of unfair. I am horrified and so angry with the system.
I understand that they can be overworked and short staffed due to budget restraints but Adult Services/Child Protective Services had years of chances to get it right. The system failed Laura each and every time. The only hope left is for a serious system change and justice for Laura.
I pray we get both!
Last edited by Angel4u2Whisper2; 03-01-2010 at 06:53 PM.
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