In custody since 2008, Cesar Ulloa, charged with seven counts of elder abuse and a count of torture. He faces life in prison if convicted, is on trial in California.
This week prosecution witnesses said Ulloa attacked patients at the Silverado Senior Living in Reseda, CA. The facility, located a dozen miles west of downtown, has an elite reputation with fees running $6,000 a month or more.
It is alleged that Ulloa chose to abuse patients with dementia or other conditions that prevented them from informing staff of their abuse. Comments by Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Robin Allen capture the vicious calculation in Ulloa's modus operandi. "He attacked the most vulnerable people you can possibly find. "He hit them and he laughed. This was sport."
The alleged offenses occurred at Silverado Senior LIving in Calabasas, CA. While a caregiver at the home, Adelina Campos testified, that she saw Ulloa leap from a dresser onto a male patient, landing with both knees on his belly. A former caregiver, Luz Alvarez, said she saw Ulloa punch a combative man in the stomach, laugh and ask the wheelchair-confined man: "Haven't you had enough?" She also testified that she saw Ulloa taunting residents, telling a male patient he "was sexing his daughter."
Another time, as she dressed one resident for breakfast, she said she witnessed Ulloa in a struggle with a combative resident. Ulloa, she said, clenched his right fist and punched the wheelchair-bound man in the stomach.
It is also alleged that he attacked a 78-year-old woman and tried to get two wheelchair-confined residents to fight. When the body of the 78-year-old woman was exhumed and examined, "trauma was found, with signs of multiple broken bones at various stages of healing. An autopsy showed blunt force trauma as a contributing factor in his death."
Ulloa's attorney, Daniel Teola, argued that the facility claimed to not use restrains or sedatives and in an environment like that, Teola compared it to a free-range chicken farm, injuries were to be expected. "You're going to have bruises," he said. "You're going to have fractures."
The website for Silverado Senior Living locates it in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains, and describes its care for residents as unparalleled:
Your loved one with Alzheimers, Parkinson's, Lewy-body, or other type of dementia will receive expert clinical care led by a medical director, a full-time Registered Nurse, and a team of round-the-clock licensed nurses and caregivers, plus life-enriching, adult-oriented engagement programs, all in a warm, loving, and pet-friendly environment.