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  • Elder Abuse Unit

     

    The First Judicial District’s Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit was created in 2010 in direct response to the changing demographics in Jefferson County. The District Attorney believed that law enforcement and prosecutors could do a better job in the prosecution of crimes committed against the elderly.

    Jefferson County has the largest number of seniors in Colorado, with over 20% of the population being over the age of 60.  It is projected that by 2020 that 27% of the Jefferson County population will be elder adults.

    Elder abuse is one of the fastest growing crimes in our community.  Recognition of this trend is slow and similar to where domestic violence and child abuse were twenty years ago. These crimes are often under-reported and under-investigated. Because of this these crimes are also often difficult to prosecute. The District Attorney’s Office is committed to the aggressive prosecution of those who victimize seniors.

    The Elder Abuse Unit works closely with local law enforcement agencies, Adult Protective Services, private organizations and professionals to locate and hold accountable those who commit these crimes.

    Colorado's 2013 legislature passed the state's first mandatory reporting bill for Elder Abuse which became law on July 1, 2014.  This law requires many professional groups to report to law enforcement when they suspect abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of person 70 or older. The professional groups include bank personnel, clergy, attorneys, mental health professionals, physicians and others.  

    Features of the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Unit:

    Specialized prosecutors dedicated to prosecuting all types of crimes perpetrated against the elderly.
    Training for law enforcement.
    Resources for the community, victims, and service providers.

    What is Elder Abuse?

    Elder abuse can be any type of crime perpetrated against older adults, who are considered “at-risk” adults. This can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect and sexual abuse. Colorado defines an “at-risk” adult as a person age 60 or older.

    Warning signs of elder abuse:

    Physical Abuse: bruises, scratches, burns, broken bones or other injuries which are not explained.


    Neglect: changes in personal grooming, weight loss, unkempt appearance, unsanitary living conditions, dirty and un-bathed.


    Financial Exploitation: depletion or large withdrawals from bank accounts, changes in designation of beneficiaries to wills or other financial documents, actions exceeding the scope of a power of attorney, new friends or relatives appearing in the elder’s life, unnecessary purchases or expenditures.


    Sexual Abuse: bruising around genitalia, venereal disease or unexplained infections, torn, stained or bloody clothing.

    Emotional Abuse: overbearing or threatening caregiver, changes in mood or behavior.

    Last Updated: 12-15-2014