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Md. Lawmakers Consider Increasing Penalties For Elder Abuse

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- The beating of an elderly man by his paid in-home caretaker is under consideration in Annapolis. Advocates for the elderly want lawmakers to impose increased penalties on people guilty of abusing vulnerable adults.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more from the daughter of the victim.

It's hard to imagine and harder to watch. Ninety-year-old John Taylor, bedridden, was beaten by a woman hired to care for him in his home.

"I discovered that my father had endured three more beatings within that same month," said Jacqueline Taylor.

Taylor played the tape of her father's beating for the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday in support of a bill to increase the penalties for elder abuse and hold some suspects without bail. The woman charged with assaulting John Taylor made bail and is believed to have fled the country.

"It brings tears to your eyes," said Taylor.

Baltimore Delegate Cheryl Glenn is sponsoring the bill. This is not the first attempt to get it passed.

"We came very close last session and I just feel very passionate. My mom passed away last year at 87 years old and I know what our elderly population deals with," Glenn said.

The Maryland Department of Human Resources supports the bill but opponents argue that aspects of the bill may infringe on a defendant's constitutional rights.

"Passing a feel-good legislation just isn't going to stop any of this activity," said Stewart Levy, Families Advocating Intelligent Registries.

The Maryland Judiciary Committee also opposes the bill as taking away the discretion of the court.

No vote on the bill has been scheduled yet.

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