Sentencing today in Albert Lea abuse case

Published 8:43 am Friday, October 22, 2010

By Sarah Stultz

Staff Writer

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The first of two young women who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct by a caregiver in the elder abuse case at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea is scheduled to be sentenced today in Freeborn County District Court.

The sentencing for Brianna Marie Broitzman, 21, is expected to begin at 11 a.m. Sentencing will be by Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab.

Broitzman is one of six young women who faces charges tied to allegations of abuse of residents at the nursing home from January through May 2008. She and co-defendant Ashton Michelle Larson have been charged as adults.

Broitzman faced 15 counts ranging from fifth-degree assault, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult involving sexual conduct, disorderly conduct by a caregiver and failure to report suspected abuse.

However in August, she pleaded guilty to three counts of disorderly conduct by a caregiver as part of a plea agreement. The plea was classified as an Alford plea, in which a defendant asserts innocence but admits the prosecution has enough evidence to convict, usually for more severe charges.

Under the agreement, Broitzman pleaded guilty to the three counts, in exchange for the remaining charges to be dropped. The three counts represented three victims.