I-TEAM: Home healthcare worker accused of sexually abusing elderly woman with disabilities

EATON — A home healthcare worker is in jail after being accused of sexually abusing an elderly woman with mental disabilities in Preble County.

Brandon Velez, 24, was indicted Aug. 1 on two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count patient abuse, according to Preble County Common Pleas Court records.

The indictment stated that the charges were in connection an incident that happened in Eaton in March 2022.

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Velez was an employee for Empowering People, Inc. and caring for a 76-year-old woman is “blind, non-verbal and has mental disabilities” at the time of the incident, according to an Eaton Police incident report.

A co-worker of Velez’s told police she relieved him on the evening of March 3. When she went to check on the victim later during her shift, she found what was later determined to be evidence on top of a dresser. The woman contacted her boss, who told her to contact police.

During an investigation of what police described as a group home, officers located additional evidence.

Velez said the evidence located came from a previous consensual sexual encounter he had with someone else previously in his car, according to the incident report.

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DNA testing was conducted on evidence found and results led police to turn over the case to a prosecuting attorney to pursue charges.

Velez was arrested Sunday and remains booked in the Preble County Jail, according to online jail records.

He was arraigned Tuesday and is scheduled to appear in court next on Oct. 6.

News Center 7 reached out to Empowering People, Inc. for comment on the accusation and Velez’s current employment status. A spokesperson told us, “No comment.”