08/24/12 — Former adult care worker charged with sex assault

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Former adult care worker charged with sex assault

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 24, 2012 1:46 PM

The former director of maintenance at Goldsboro Assisted Living has been charged by Goldsboro police with sexually assaulting an 89-year-old Alzheimer's patient there last month.

Gerald Dean Blizzard, 68, of Old Grantham Road, was arrested Aug. 9 and charged with sexual battery, which is a misdemeanor. He is currently free under a $5,000 unsecured bond, police said, and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 4.

According to the incident report, on Aug. 1, Ms. (Ann) Day, the director of Goldsboro Assisted Living and Alzheimer's Care, reported a sexual battery at the facility. Day said that on July 20 a female employee observed the suspect with his hand under the victim's shirt.

The Wayne County Department of Social Services is currently investigating, Debbie Jones, department director, confirmed Thursday.

"What the aides are telling us is that they had been suspicious of him for some time because he would go in different women's rooms and shut the door and seem to stay for an excessive amount of time," Ms. Jones said. "They did not report it because they weren't sure.

"On this particular day, July 20, an aide actually walked in and caught him."

Social services is in the process of completing its report, which will be turned over to the state Division of Health Services Regulations. Ms. Jones said she expects the facility will be cited for several violations.

"The incident happened on July 20. (Ms. Day) was supposed to notify us and the state within 24 hours. She did not notify us until July 31," she said. "On July 25, we were out at that facility with the state folks doing a routine monitoring. She did not say anything. She did not fire the man until July 26.

"She did suspend him and forbade him from coming back on the property July 20."

Ms. Jones said her office is also waiting on a hospital report.

"(Ms. Day) didn't send the lady out to be checked," she said. "The police department had to tell her to do that. She didn't call the police until Aug. 1, when we told her she had to."

Blizzard's daughter, Gerrie Shaeffer, also works at the facility, as business office manager. She declined comment this morning and said Ms. Day was out of the office today.

-- Staff writer John Joyce also contributed to this story.