Texas has 13 facilities that house developmentally and intellectually disabled Texans. These facilities provide 24 hr assistance to qualified Texans and also provide comprehensive behavioral treatment services and health care services, including physician services, nursing services and dental services.

These State Supported Living Centers help their residents with building skills through occupational, physical and speech therapies. In addition, vocational programs and services to ensure they maintain connections family members, socialize with other residents, build social skills and their families along with establishing and or maintaining natural support systems.

In other words the residents of these State Supported Living Centers are vulnerable and to qualify one must be unable to care of themselves efficiently. Applications are received and processed by the Local Intellectual and Developmental Authority (LIDDA). In turn, LIDDA will determine eligibility.

Considering the vulnerable persons inhabiting these centers and thus Service Providers must be skilled, courteous and patient. In state run facilities one must except the best security and protection to be provided to residents and this incident may indeed bring about change for better hires, better surveillance and addressing concerns of abuse and extortion.

Today it was announced by the Justice Department that Tesa Keith, 37, plead guilty yesterday May 1, 2019 to violating the civil rights of a resident at the San Angelo State Supported Living Center in San Angelo, Texas.

Tesa Keith, 37

This defendant physically assaulted a resident at the Living Center with no legal justification.

Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division

Keith signed a plea agreement. According to the court documents she was working on June 13, 2017 as a Direct Service Provider at the San Angelo
State Supported Living Center. San Angelo State Supported Living Center is a state-run facility where the female victim resided. Keith kicked the victim in her face without any legal justification and simply to punish the vulnerable victim. Keith’s aggravated assault caused the victim to endure and suffer bodily injury.

Instead of the care and compassion she deserved, this victim suffered abuse and humiliation. One of the DOJ’s most sacred duties is seeking justice for our district’s most vulnerable. We will not tolerate this sort of terrible behavior.

U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox.

The San Angelo State Supported Living Center is state-run and are obliged under federal law to ensure the safety and quality care to all their residents. It seems that this Direct Service Provider had anger issues and abused this specific victim on a more frequent basis according to a relative of a resident at the facility.

The only reason she was fired and caught and arrested was because K. got hurt. I worry about my cousin all the time. Those that have no family are most vulnerable cause no one asks questions for them and it just turned out that someone asked the questions for K. even though it was quite a time after it happened. They tend to cover up for each other and when the residents complain they just assume it’s because they manufacture tales or complaints. You really don’t know what to think. Having cameras everywhere is important since the residents can’t speak up for themselves.

Lena M. relative of resident at facility

According to the Justice Department Keith faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the civil rights offense.

The victim was unfairly prevented from receiving the care she was entitled to under the law.

Michael Schneider, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Division

If you have a loved one in long term care or residing in assisted living facilities it is always important to advocate for them. Reaching out to independent physicians to re-evaluate or forensically examine any injuries suffered may assist is determining if there is abuse.

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