Nurse admits to abusing severely disabled Hellertown boy
Jan 18, 2013 (The Morning Call (Allentown - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A nurse who abused a severely disabled Hellertown boy he was supposed to be caring for pleaded guilty Friday to two misdemeanor charges.
Leo M. Calon, 45, was caught after the 12-year-old's mother, Dianna Desalto, became suspicious and had video surveillance installed in his bedroom that recorded the abuse, according to court records.
The boy has cerebral palsy, seizure disorder and severe intellectual disabilities, and is unable to communicate. Calon, a licensed practical nurse, was hired to take care of him at the home at 1540 Burkhardt St. while his parents were at work, said Northampton County Assistant District Attorney Lara Mammana Kash.
On March 6 and March 7, Calon left the boy in his room without his bedrails in place, banged his leg braces forcefully, allowed him to lie in a urine-soaked bed, and rubbed his soiled clothing in his face at one point, Kash said.
Under the plea agreement, Calon admitted to two misdemeanors of endangering the welfare of a child. It came after Calon earlier pleaded guilty to a single count that was a felony, but later withdrew that plea.
Sentencing guidelines offer a range of probation to three months in prison at minimum on each of the charges. Judge Stephen Baratta warned Calon that he is unlikely to be able to back out of his decision a second time, and so should be ready to face the consequences.
"He's admitting to abusing a severely disabled person," Baratta told defense lawyer Eric Winter, who met at length with his client before the plea went forward. "That's bad."
Calon, of Hanover Township, Northampton County, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 25. Winter said Calon is aware he will probably lose his nursing license, and has already been contacted by the state licensing officials.
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