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Minn. senior home, rape victim, 89, settle outside court

Edgewood Vista facility in Hermantown, Minn. edgewoodseniorliving.com

HERMANTOWN, Minn. - An 89-year-old woman who was raped by a caregiver at a northern Minnesota senior living home has reached a settlement outside of court with the home and its administrators, but will continue to seek damages against her confessed attacker, her attorney said Tuesday, reports the Duluth News Tribune.

Specifics of the settlement were not immediately made available but the elderly woman's attorney, Mark Kosieradzki, reportedly called the settlement "satisfactory" to his client and her family.

The settlement was reached just before a pretrial motion was scheduled to take place Tuesday in the elderly woman's lawsuit against the senior home, two of its administrators and her attacker, Andrew Merzwski.

Merzwski, a 30-year-old caregiver at the Edgewood Vista home in Hermantown, was sentenced last month to 53 months in prison after admitting to having sex with the 89-year-old in January 2013.

The state Department of Health launched an investigation following the assault and ultimately held Merzwksi responsible and not the facility.

However, allegations outlined in court documents and testimony in the lawsuit brought on behalf of the woman raised new questions about whether the facility should have been held accountable.

According to the court documents made public earlier this week, even after Merzwski admitted in January 2013 to having sex with the elderly woman, an administrator at the home told a sexual-assault nurse that the 89-year-old had flirted with Merzwki and made up the story of the assault.

"Did she tell you that this was consensual? Did she tell you that she flirts with this boy mercilessly?," Marilyn Moore, clinical services director at the home, allegedly asked the nurse.

Marilyn Moore was one of the administrators named in the lawsuit.

Administrators at the home also allegedly failed to inform the hospital that Merzwski had admitted the day after the incident to having sex with the elderly woman, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which obtained the court documents.

The lawsuit, seeking punitive damages, still remains against Merzwski, according to the Duluth News Tribune, and he has not filed a response.

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