Loading articles...

Sentencing hearing begins for support worker convicted of elder abuse

Last Updated Jul 5, 2016 at 1:36 pm EDT

A sentencing hearing began Tuesday for a personal support worker convicted of elder abuse.

Danilo Alcala, 62, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a person with a disability – a 95-year-old war veteran with dementia. Alcala has been in jail for almost a year.

The Crown is asking for three to five years in jail, while the defense is asking for no further jail time.

The family of one of his victims was too distraught to attend Tuesday’s hearing, but it was their hidden camera that triggered the police investigation.

On July 9, 2015, the family of the 95-year-old man hired Alcala through Spectrum Health Care. The son of the victim had installed a camera in the living room where his father spends most of his time in order to keep an eye on him while he was away at work. While at work, he checked the camera and saw Alcala sexually assault his father.

Alcala attended the home, located near Broadview and Mortimer avenues, six times and sexually assaulted the victim on three of these occasions. The sexual abuse included forced masturbation and oral sex.

Police arrested Alcala on July 16.

In the course of the police investigation, two other complaints came to light. One of the elderly men involved in those complaints has since passed away. The Crown is not proceeding on a second sexual assault charge, related to that man.

Crown layer Karen Simone argued Wednesday that Alcala is a risk to reoffend and his comments during pre-sentencing are “ridiculous.”

“He has a lack of remorse … and blames the victim” for the sexual assaults, Simone said. Alcala also claimed he “was not aware he couldn’t do it.”

Alcala’s lawyer Scott Bergman countered that the media attention was a deterrent and that the Google searches will not go away.

“This is far more effective than jail time,” Bergman said.

Simone said that Alcala should not get a “media discount” on his sentence.

In an argument that Bergman himself said was difficult to make, he said there is no evidence of the impact the sexual assault had on the victim. His dementia makes it a grey area.

“In the video … when you see the victim … I am suggesting there is no resistance. That’s what I see,” Bergman said.

The judge will sentence Alcala in late July.

With files from Marianne Boucher