Ashley Ann Smith a licensed practical nurse at Pennsylvania’s Kane McKeesport Community Living Center accused of sending illicit images of patients to her ex boyfriend and fellow co worker.
A Pennsylvania nurse has been accused of taking ‘explicit and private’ photographs of at least 17 elderly nursing home patients — and sending said images to her boyfriend.
Ashley Ann Smith, 30, of Dravosburg, is facing 30 counts — including invasion of privacy and abuse of care — in connection with photographs she took while working as a licensed practical nurse at Kane McKeesport Community Living Center, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
According to the complaint, Smith sent roughly 20 of the ‘explicit and private’ images, some of which showed vulnerable patients in ‘need of immediate care and private situations,’ to the father of her child, who previously worked at the facility. Ron Whittaker, 36, reported Smith to hospital administration April 5 and staffers there immediately contacted police.
The images- some of which included nude images- according to Allegheny County police were sent to the former co worker between May 2017 and August 2018,
Whittaker — who lived with Smith until they separated in November, has not been criminally charged in connection with the photos. He was arrested in October for allegedly assaulting Smith and that case is still pending, court records show.
But it gets grimmer.
Allegheny County police also found two pornographic photos of a 2-year-old girl on Smith’s cellphone, according to the complaint. Smith, who earned roughly $38,000 and had been an employee since 2015, was fired by the assisted living facility after the images were found.
‘The images are explicit and private, and some have the sole purpose to humiliate the patients,’ according to the complaint, which notes that a video on Smith’s cellphone also depicted a nude patient undergoing a medical procedure.
Some patients and their relatives were notified of the offending images, including one woman whose dementia-stricken, 90-year-old father was one of Smith’s victims during a 15-month span between May 2017 and August 2018, police said.
‘I think it’s pretty heinous,’ Lori Rushe told the Post Gazette. ‘That is total elder abuse.’
Adding, ‘You’re taking advantage of people who don’t know their name, where they’re at or anything. That is so disturbing.’
Smith is understood to have surrendered to authorities Friday.
Offered the nurse’s attorney, Frank Walker, ‘Right now, the Constitution affords her the presumption of innocence, and she stands firmly on that’.
It remains unclear why Smith sent said images to her former boyfriend and why the man only now just notified authorities of the disturbing images his former partner had shared with him.