Is a caregiver criminally liable if they have consensual sex with an of-age client, who is physically but not mentally disabled?

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Is a caregiver criminally liable if they have consensual sex with an of-age client, who is physically but not mentally disabled?

The following took place in Indiana. A home nursing caregiver was hired and
assigned to provide service to a client in their home. The client is an adult,
with physical but no mental disabilities. The caregiver and the client had
consenual sexual relationships, and the client later reported it to the company.
Is the caregiver liable criminally?

Asked on November 3, 2016 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is not a criminal act, if the client is of age, is mentally competent, and consented. However, it may be a violation of the caregiver's duties or obligations under the standards for his/her profession (much depends on whether he or she has some professional licensing or certification, like a LPN, since there are different standards for different license/certifications) and, if so, the caregiver could be disciplined by his or her profession, such as by having his or her license suspended or revoked. And unless he or she has a written employment contract preventing him or her from being fired in this situation, his or her employer could terminate him or her--or do anything "less than" termination, like suspending, reducing hours or pay, etc.


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