Gheens women sentenced for exploiting handicapped woman
A Gheens woman was sentenced Tuesday, July 21st to a year in prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge accusing her of exploiting a handicapped woman.
Reba Renee Yates, 28, had been employed as a personal care attendant in the victim’s home to assist her with her daily activities in 2014. The victim was a quadriplegic, having suffered a serious spinal-cord injury years before.
After the victim noticed that items had been taken from her home, her family installed a video camera in the residence, which recorded the defendant stealing money from the victim’s purse.
"I think the felony prison sentence was warranted in this case due to fact that Reba Yates took a position working as a caregiver in the victim's home in order to take advantage of a vulnerable Lafourche parish resident and to steal from her,” said Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pinho, who prosecuted the case. Pinho specializes in crimes involving victims with physical or mental disabilities. “I am satisfied that this felony conviction prevents her from having access to another victim's money and property."
“Crimes which target the disabled, who are especially vulnerable, cannot be tolerated,” said District Attorney Camille A. Morvant, II. “But this victim and her family should also be commended for being proactive and helping us bring this perpetrator to justice.”
Yates was sentenced to one year in the state penitentiary for the crime of exploitation of the infirmed. She also pled to a misdemeanor charge of theft, and was placed on two years of probation, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $475 and to stay away from the victim. The sentences were imposed by the Hon. F. Hugh Larose. Yates was scheduled to begin a felony jury trial this week.
Posted on Fri, July 24, 2015
by The Lafourche Gazette