Wednesday, July 31, 2002

MRDD work trainer denies abuse


He testifies he never hurt mentally retarded man

By Janice Morse, jmorse@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Timothy Lee Ivers, accused of felony patient abuse and misdemeanor assault, took the witness stand Tuesday and told a Butler County jury that he never pushed Glenn Kidd, a mentally retarded man, to the floor and never physically punished him.

        “No, I couldn't,” Mr. Ivers declared.

        Assistant Prosecutor Brenda Cox attacked that assertion with a rebuttal witness who disputed Mr. Ivers' testimony.

        Eryn Sebastian, 24, an employee of the Butler County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, which runs Hamilton Center — the workshop where the abuse allegedly occurred — said she had seen Mr. Ivers kick, pinch and “hit (Mr. Kidd) on top of the head with his knuckles” two to three times a week.

        Defense lawyer Frank Schiavone called another MRDD employee to testify. Bobbie Philpot said she never saw Mr. Ivers behave violently with Mr. Kidd nor with anyone else. But she also said she normally worked in a separate area from Mr. Ivers' area in recent years.

        A jury of seven men and five women will be asked to sort out the truth in this rare attempt to prosecute someone for abuse of a mentally disabled person who cannot testify for himself. Besides testimony, the jurors have audiotape and videotape of an incident involving Mr. Ivers and Mr. Kidd. Deliberations are expected to begin today in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

        If convicted, Mr. Ivers faces up to two years behind bars and fines of $6,000. He remains on unpaid administrative leave from his MRDD job as a work trainer.

        He was put on leave after a surveillance camera videotaped a Jan. 26, 2001, incident. Mr. Ivers pulled Mr. Kidd, then 36, into a restroom, where an audiotape recorded Mr. Kidd “yelping out in pain,” Ms. Cox said. Mr. Ivers said he didn't interpret the sounds that way. He also said a chair that was sometimes in the men's restroom got in the way, causing him and Mr. Kidd to fall accidentally, accounting for other sounds on the tape, which also recorded Mr. Ivers telling Mr. Kidd: “Stand up! Stand up!”

        Mr. Kidd cannot speak and is very active. Mr. Ivers denied becoming frustrated with Mr. Kidd and then hauling him into the restroom for discipline. Mr. Ivers said Mr. Kidd had signaled he needed to use the toilet. But Ms. Cox noted the pair spent less than a minute in the restroom and Mr. Kidd didn't use the toilet. Mr. Ivers said that was because Mr. Kidd apparently didn't need to use it, de

        was sometimes in the men's restroom got in the way, causing him and Mr. Kidd to fall accidentally, accounting for other sounds on the tape, which also recorded Mr. Ivers telling Mr. Kidd: “Stand up! Stand up!”

        Mr. Kidd cannot speak and is very active. Mr. Ivers denied becoming frustrated with Mr. Kidd and then hauling him into the restroom for discipline. Mr. Ivers said Mr. Kidd had signaled he needed to use the toilet. But Ms. Cox noted the pair spent less than a minute in the restroom and Mr. Kidd didn't use the toilet. Mr. Ivers said that was because Mr. Kidd apparently didn't need to use it, despite his earlier signal.

       



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