DRO's victims of crime advocacy leads to the conviction and sentencing of abusive Cambridge Developmental Center employee
July 11, 2019 / Victims of Crime
Yesterday, Dianna Stein, a former employee of the Cambridge Developmental Center, was sentenced to 59 months in prison for the abuse of Bradon Conway, a man who lived under her care in the facility. This extraordinary outcome was made possible thanks to the diligent work of DRO staff through its Victims of Crime Act program, Mr. Conway, his mother Jerri McCombs, and the Guernsey County Prosecutor's Office.
In June 2018, DRO received a complaint regarding alleged abuse against Bradon at the developmental center. In response, DRO investigated and substantiated multiple acts of physical abuse perpetrated by Ms. Stein against him. DRO also found that multiple staff members had failed to report these acts when they had been witnesses, and turned over all of this information to prosecutors. Ms. Stein ultimately pleaded guilty to six counts of Patient Abuse, all fourth-degree felonies. Guernsey County Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Padden has also ordered that she be added to the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities abuser registry so she will no longer be able to work with the DD population.
"Bradon and I are so grateful and relieved that this day of justice has finally come," says Ms. McCombs. "Anyone who works with people with disabilities should know that if they resort to abuse against those they are supposed to care for, they will be held accountable for their actions. The pain that Bradon and I have gone through was difficult, but our hope is that the outcome of Bradon's case will deter future abuse from happening."
"This outcome is significant because victims of crime with disabilities often do not see the crimes against them prosecuted," says DRO Executive Director Michael Kirkman. "In this case, the intensive collaboration between DRO, law enforcement and the Guernsey County Prosecutor's Office was instrumental in bringing about justice for Bradon, and we thank Bradon and his mother for their courage and endurance during this difficult ordeal. It is our hope that police officers and prosecutors across the state will use Bradon's case as an example of how important these outcomes are for people with disabilities and their families. Guernsey County's Prosecutor's Office is to be commended for their willingness to partner with us in this process."
Agencies interested in collaborating with DRO on cases involving victims of crime with disabilities can contact Disability Rights Ohio at 800-282-9181.