Caregiver sentenced for abuse of elderly dementia patient

by: Richard Thompson Updated:


Cameron Malizio was called to court today to be sentenced for assaulting a patient at the Garden Courte MemoryCare Center in Olympia.

Thurston County prosecutors say Malizio and a coworker swore at the 90-year-old woman, locked her in a chair, doused her with cold water and then, according to Laura Wohl from the Olympia Police Department, "The caregivers soaped up a washrag, made a comment that she needed her mouth washed out with soap and they shoved the rag into her mouth." 

A co-worker who witnessed the incident inside the facility told police the woman could not breathe for about 10 seconds. Detectives say Malizio then took the washcloth out and sprayed cold water in the woman's mouth until she was forced to spit it out.

Deputy Prosecutor Megan Winder tells KIRO-7 the victim had no ability to fight back or escape. "She could not get out of the chair, she could not escape from it. 

Before being sentenced Malizio did not explain his actions but he did apologize for them, saying, "I just want to say what I did was wrong. I take full responsibility for my actions and once again I'm deeply sorry for what I did."

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor sentenced Malizio to a year and a day, which means he will go to prison instead of jail.  Tabor also confirmed Malizio would lose his his Certified Nursing Assistant License and banned him from caring for vulnerable people.

The judge said what Malizio did to a frail woman with dementia is beyond belief.  "Being strapped in a chair and then being subjected to this rag being placed in her throat is a horrific situation."

A second caregiver from the facility is also facing assault charges in the case but she is still awaiting trial.