Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Indictment of Former Caregiver for Assault

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, May 13, 2015  
Contact Information:  Leland Hulbert
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659
 


Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the indictment of a former healthcare worker for one count of Assault in the 4th Degree, a Class A misdemeanor.  Thirty-four year-old Crystal Marie Leyhue was a caregiver at the Haws Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Fulton, Ky.  The indictment stems from a November 4, 2014 incident in which it is alleged that Leyhue placed a hot pepper into an 82-year-old resident's mouth.  The defendant was heard laughing at the resident's reaction, and the incident was caught on a video camera.  Another employee of the facility observed the incident and reported it to her superiors.  Leyhue was then fired.  A summons will be issued for Leyhue, who currently lives in Dresden, Tennessee, to appear for arraignment. 

Attorney General Conway’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit investigated this case after a referral from the Department of Community Based Services.  The case is being prosecuted by Fulton County Attorney Rick Majors.

For a photo of Leyhue, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kyoag/17423178978/in/dateposted-public/

Leyhue faces a potential sentence of up to one year in jail if convicted.

A charge is merely an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

“I believe strongly that every patient in a nursing home, Medicaid facility, or personal care home deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and should be free from patient abuse, neglect or exploitation,” Attorney General Conway said.  “I applaud the healthcare worker who reported this crime.  Instances of abuse will be investigated, and when appropriate, prosecuted.” 

Medicaid Recoveries

Attorney General Conway has investigated and prosecuted more abuse and neglect cases than any previous Kentucky Attorney General.  Since Attorney General Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has led or participated in actions which have recovered more than $300 million for state and federal-funded Medical programs. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers.

In 2012, General Conway’s Medicaid Fraud Unit was named one of the most aggressive in the country by the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen.  The Attorney General’s tip line for reporting allegations of abuse is 1-877-228-7384.