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Failing to Provide a Safe and Secure Home

Published on January 9th, 2020

A resident who was sexually assaulted in her Balboa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center nursing home in October has filed a claim against the facility operators, alleging they failed to provide proper security and staffing to keep her and other residents safe. The claim states that employees at Balboa routinely left the back door open, which allowed a man to slip inside, walk past a nursing station and reach the second floor where the victim lived.

Staff heard the woman and her roommates scream for help and saw a naked man dash out of the building. The woman’s arm was broken in the assault, but she is recovering and now living in a different skilled nursing home. Using DNA evidence, San Diego police arrested Lusean Arline, 49, about a week later. He has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the incident. He had just been released from prison after a conviction for following two women and exposing himself.

The state Department of Public Health opened an investigation of Balboa within a week of the assault and issued findings that the facility failed to maintain safe and secure premises. Employees would leave the building’s back door open on a regular basis, despite problems of loitering and trespassing at the building and in the neighborhood. The facility failed to hire sufficient security and staffing to keep costs low.

“This is a terribly shocking case, one that is most unfortunate and violates our trust we place in these facilities when we place a loved one in their care,” the woman’s attorney, William Berman. “This could have happened to any female resident at Balboa.”

The state’s online records show Balboa Healthcare, Inc. as the legal name of the 194-bed nursing facility since 2005. The records say eight complaints were filed against the nursing home in 2019, with 14 findings of “deficiencies” involving pain medications, diet and accommodation for a disability. The government levied a $2,000 fine in one case. In 2018, the records show, 10 complaints were filed with seven findings of deficiency. In 2017, 18 complaints were filed with 19 deficiencies found.

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