Caretaker Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation Law in Oklahoma

Caretaker Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation Definition in Oklahoma

elder abuse by caretaker arrest oklahomaIt’s illegal for any caretaker or other person to abuse, commit financial neglect, neglect, commit sexual abuse, or exploit any person entrusted to the care of that caretaker. The caretaker also cannot commit any of these acts against any other person in a nursing facility or other setting. Additionally, the caretaker may not knowingly cause, secure, or permit any of these acts to be done.

This crime is sometimes referred to as financial exploitation of the elderly and elder abuse.

A “vulnerable adult” is someone who is an incapacitated person or who, because of physical or mental disability, incapacity, or other disability, is substantially impaired in the ability to provide adequately for the care or custody of himself or herself, or is unable to manage his or her property and financial affairs effectively, or to meet essential requirements for mental or physical health or safety, or to protect himself or herself from abuse, verbal abuse, neglect, or exploitation without assistance from others.

A “caretaker” is someone who has:

  1. the responsibility for the care of a vulnerable adult or the financial management of the resources of a vulnerable adult as a result of a family relationship,
  2. assumed the responsibility for the care of a vulnerable adult voluntarily, by contract, or as a result of the ties of friendship, or
  3. been appointed a guardian, limited guardian, or conservator pursuant to the Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act.

Abuse” means causing or permitting:

  1. the infliction of physical pain, injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, unreasonable restraint or confinement, or mental anguish, or
  2. the deprivation of nutrition, clothing, shelter, health care, or other care or services without which serious physical or mental injury is likely to occur to a vulnerable adult by a caretaker or other person providing services to a vulnerable adult.

Financial neglect” means repeated instances by a caretaker, or other person, who has assumed the role of financial management, of failure to use the resources available to restore or maintain the health and physical well-being of a vulnerable adult, including, but not limited to:

  1. squandering or negligently mismanaging the money, property, or accounts of a vulnerable adult,
  2. refusing to pay for necessities or utilities in a timely manner, or
  3. providing substandard care to a vulnerable adult despite the availability of adequate financial resources.

Neglect” means:

  1. the failure to provide protection for a vulnerable adult who is unable to protect his or her own interest,
  2. the failure to provide a vulnerable adult with adequate shelter, nutrition, health care, or clothing, or
  3. negligent acts or omissions that result in harm or the unreasonable risk of harm to a vulnerable adult through the action, inaction, or lack of supervision by a caretaker providing direct services;

Sexual abuse” means:

  1. oral, anal, or vaginal penetration of a vulnerable adult by or through the union with the sexual organ of a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult, or the anal or vaginal penetration of a vulnerable adult by a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult with any other object, or
  2. for the purpose of sexual gratification, the touching, feeling, or observation of the body or private parts of a vulnerable adult by a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult, or
  3. indecent exposure by a caretaker or other person providing services to the vulnerable adult;

Exploitation” or “exploit” means an unjust or improper use of the resources of a vulnerable adult for the profit or advantage, pecuniary or otherwise, of a person other than the vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, coercion, harassment, duress, deception, false representation, or false pretense;

Punishment for Caretaker Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation in Oklahoma

This crime is a felony. The maximum punishment in prison is ten years. The maximum fine is $10,000. This is an 85% crime. Anyone convicted of this is required to serve no less than 85% of any sentence of imprisonment prior to becoming eligible for consideration for parole. They are not eligible for earned credits or any other type of credits that have the effect of reducing the length of the sentence to less than 85% of the sentence imposed.

The punishment increases if this law is violated by committing sexual abuse. The maximum punishment in prison is 15 years. The maximum fine is $10,000. This is an 85% crime. Anyone convicted of this is required to serve no less than 85% of any sentence of imprisonment prior to becoming eligible for consideration for parole. They are not eligible for earned credits or any other type of credits that have the effect of reducing the length of the sentence to less than 85% of the sentence imposed.

C. Consent shall not be a defense for any violation of this section.

Caretaker Abuse as a Sex Crime in Oklahoma

This offense becomes a sex crime if it involved sexual abuse or sexual exploitation. If this is a sex crime, then the person convicted of caretaker abuse must register as a Sex Offender under the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry Act. This is a level one sex crime if the crime involved touching, feeling, observation, or indecent exposure for the purpose of sexual gratification. If a level one sex offense, the offender must register for a total of 15 years with annual address verification. This is a level three sex crime if the crime involved oral, anal, or vaginal penetration. If a level three sex offense, the offender must register for life and verify their address every 90 days. In addition to being labeled a sex offender, sex offenders registered for caretaker abuse in Oklahoma must also comply with numerous laws that significantly affect their life. The offender must register with the local law enforcement agency. If the offender is a student, then he or she must notify the police or security department of any institution of higher learning.

To determine if sexual abuse or exploitation is involved in this crime, official documentation will be reviewed. This includes, but is not limited to the following:

  1. District Attorney’s Information Sheet alleging sexual abuse, assault, and/or exploitation;
  2. District Attorney’s Narrative alleging sexual abuse, assault, and/or exploitation on the crime the offender was convicted of, not uncharged crimes or dismissed charges; and
  3. Sentencing documents for information regarding sexual abuse, assault, and/or exploitation. Sentencing documents include Judgment and Sentence, Summary of Facts, orders, minutes, etc. A court document stating a finding that no sexual abuse, assault, and/or exploitation was involved may be used to determine that no registration is required.

Where Sex Offenders Can Live in Oklahoma

A sex offender can’t live within a 2000 ft radius of any:

  • public or private school site;
  • educational institution;
  • property or campsite used by an organization whose primary purpose is working with children;
  • playground or park that is established, operated, or supported in whole or in part by a homeowners’ association or a city, town, county, state, federal or tribal government; a
  • licensed child care center or family child care home; or
  • the residence of his or her victim.

The distance is measured from the nearest property line of the residence of the sex offender to the nearest property line of the place listed above.

In any offense in which a minor child was the victim the sex offender can’t reside with a minor child or establish any other living accommodation where a minor child resides. Provided, however, the sex offender may reside with a minor child if the person is the parent, stepparent, or grandparent of the minor child and the minor child was not the victim of the offense for which the sex offender is required to register. A sex offender who resides with a minor child as the parent, stepparent, or grandparent of the minor child, provided the minor child was not the victim of the offense for which the sex offender is required to register, must report to the statewide centralized hotline of the Department of Human Services the name and date of birth of any and all minor children residing in the same household and the offenses for which the sex offender is required to register within three days of intent to reside with a minor child.

The restrictions on where a sex offender can’t live don’t apply to any registered sex offender residing in a hospital or other facility certified or licensed by the Oklahoma to provide medical services.

It’s illegal for two or more sex offenders to reside together in any individual dwelling during the term of registration as a sex offender. This restriction doesn’t apply to:

  • any properly zoned and established boarding house, apartment building or other multi-unit structure; provided the individual dwellings are separate for each registered person;
  • the sharing of living quarters, jail or prison space, or any multi-person or dormitory-style housing of sex offenders in the custody of any jail or correctional facility or any properly zoned facility under contract with a jail or correctional agency for the purpose of housing prisoners, or any properly established treatment or nonprofit facility located in a properly zoned area determined by the local governing authority and housing persons for purposes of sex offender services and treatment; and
  • married people, both of whom are required to register as sex offenders, or two or more blood relatives who are required to register as sex offenders, from residing in any individual dwelling during the term of registration as a sex offender.

“Individual dwelling” means:

  • a private residential property, whether owned, leased or rented, including all real property zoned as single-family residential property or zoned as multi-family residential property due to any adjacent, detached or separate living quarters of any kind on such property;
  • any room available within any boarding house or group home as such term is defined by subsection D of this section;
  • any single apartment for rent or lease within an apartment building; or
  • any separate residential unit made available for sale, rent or lease within a multi-unit structure, including a condominium, duplex, triplex, quadriplex, or any unit that is constructed together with other separate units into one structure.

“Multi-unit structure” means a structure with multiple residential units that provide independent living facilities for living, sleeping, cooking, eating, and sanitation within each individual unit. Manufactured homes, mobile homes, trailers, and recreational vehicles that do not meet the descriptions of this paragraph are not multi-unit structures.

Sex Offender Conditions

A sex offender applying for an original, renewal or replacement Class A, B, C or D driver license or identification card who is an aggravated or habitual offender must be issued a license or card bearing the words “Sex Offender”. When someone l is no longer required to register as a convicted sex offender with the Department of Corrections, the individual shall be eligible to receive a driver license or identification card which does not bear the words “Sex Offender”.

A sex offender may be prohibited from accessing or using any Internet social networking web site that has the potential or likelihood of allowing the sex offender to have contact with any child who is under 18 years old.

A court may order a sex offender to register any electronic mail address information, instant message, chat, or other Internet communication name or identity information that the sex offender uses or intends to use while accessing the Internet or used for other purposes of social networking or other similar Internet communication.

A court may require a sex offender to participate in a treatment program designed specifically for the treatment of sex offenders, if available. The treatment program has to include polygraph examinations specifically designed for use with sex offenders for the purpose of supervision and treatment compliance, provided the examination is administered by a certified licensed polygraph examiner. The treatment program must be approved by the Department of Corrections or the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The treatment must be paid for by the sex offender and based on the offender’s ability to pay.

Where Sex Offenders Can Go

A sex offender can’t loiter within 500 feet of any:

  • elementary, junior high or high school,
  • permitted or licensed child care center,
  • playground, or
  • park

The above doesn’t apply to someone convicted of a sex crime in another state of a crime that Oklahoma requires registration as a sex offender when the victim was 16 years old or older.

A sex offender is prohibited from entering any park if:

  • he or she has been designated as a habitual or aggravated sex offender in Oklahoma or
  • he or she has been convicted of an offense in another jurisdiction, which offense, if committed or attempted in Oklahoma, would designate him or her as a habitual or aggravated sex offender in Oklahoma

A sex offender is prohibited from loitering within 1,000 feet of the residence of his or her victim if:

  • the person who committed a sex crime against the victim has been convicted of said crime, and
  • the person is required to register pursuant to the Sex Offenders Registration Act.

A sex offender may attend a recognized church or religious denomination for worship. However, the sex offender must notify the religious leader of his or her status as a registered sex offender and the sex offender must be granted written permission by the religious leader.

If ordered by the court, a habitual or aggravated sex offender will be supervised by the Department of Corrections for the duration of the registration period and will be assigned to a global position monitoring device by the Department of Corrections for the duration of the registration period. The cost of the monitoring device will be paid for by the sex offender.

A sex offender who is assigned to a community corrections center, community work center, or halfway house, must wear a GPS monitoring system for the duration of the registration period if ordered by a judge. Any sex offender paroled must wear a GPS monitoring system.

Any sex offender who wants to travel internationally must inform his or her residence jurisdiction of any intended travel outside of the United States at least 21 calendar days prior to that travel. In order to be in compliance, offenders must notify the Sex and Violent Offender Registration Unit.

Work Sex Offenders Can’t Perform

It’s illegal for sex offenders to:

  • work with or provide services to children or
  • work on school premises.

It’s unlawful for any person or business which contracts for work to be performed on school premises to knowingly and willfully allow any sex offender to work with children or to work on school premises.

A registered sex offender can’t be employed as a:

  • peace officer
  • criminal investigator
  • private investigator,
  • or security guard.

Sources: 21 O.S. § 843.1; 43A O.S. § 10-103; 57 O.S. §§ 583, 589, 510.10, 584, 590, & 590.1; 22 O.S. § 991a ; and 43 O.S. § 2

Current as of July 6, 2019.

Charged with Caretaker Abuse or Neglect in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma sex crime lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

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