Nursing home worker accused of fondling two residents

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ELLISVILLE, MO (KTVI) - A licensed clinical social worker is charged with sexually abusing two elderly women. Ellisville Police say 44-year-old Walter Javier Martinez confessed to his boss, executive director at Odyssey Hospice about the crimes. "He told him he was sexually assaulting them while bathing them touching them in their private areas," said Ellisville Police Sgt. Nancy Walker.

It's not clear when the abuse happened. However, investigators say a 99-year-old female resident at Sunrise Assisted Living in Chesterfield and an 80-year-old Alzheimer patient at Bethesda Meadow were assaulted. The daughter of the Alzheimer patient was heartbroken when she learned what happened to her mother. "I'm very angry for what he did to my mother. I think time behind bars would work, but realistically for me, to have done to him what he did to my mother would be his just punishment," said the daughter of the 80-year-old victim.

Martinez lives in the 400 block of Johanna Place Drive near Ballwin. Neighbors were stunned to learn of the charges. Justin Smith has lived across the street from Martinez for two and half years. "That's scary. He has kids and a family and there are plenty of old people that live next to him and young girls and boys. You don't know what's going on. That's disgusting. That's horrible," said Smith.

Martinez answered the door when Fox 2 News reporter Shirley Washington went to his home, but declined to comment about the charges. He was released from the St. Louis County Jail after posting a 50-thousand dollar bond with restrictions. Police say Martinez said he confessed to the crimes because of religious reasons.

Martinez worked for Odyssey Hospice, which provided employees to nursing facilities. Bethesda Meadow released a statement saying in part, "The person charged with this crime against one of our residents is not and has not ever been an employee of Bethesda Health Group. When we learned of the allegation, a thorough investigation was conducted and Bethesda contacted the Missouri Department Of Health And Senior services to report the alleged abuse".

Martinez was initially charged with a misdemeanor. However, Ellisville Police Chief contacted state lawmakers in an effort to change the law regarding Alzheimer patients and sexual abuse. Martinez is now facing felony sexual abuse charges. He was released from the St. Louis County Jail on bond with restrictions. He told police he confessed to the crime because of religious reasons.

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