LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville woman says her autistic teen was abused by the man who was supposed to take care of him. In a few days, that caregiver is expected to stand trial.
WAVE 3 first reported about Penny Harbin's story back in September 2010. Harbin set up a hidden camera in her home about three months after Bereket Haile had been watching over her son, Kris. We have obtained a copy of that video, which is several hours of footage. Harbin says she was sickened by what she saw.
"It was my worst nightmare," said Harbin. "Pretty horrifying. Hit Kris in the head. Took a remote control hit him under the chin."
Kris is in a wheelchair and can't talk, but the hidden camera video showing him with Haile spoke volumes. In it, you can see Haile playing video games, spending hours watching TV and reading magazines.
Haile was immediately fired from his employer Kentuckiana Nursing Services and charged with criminal abuse and criminal mischief. Haile didn't stay behind bars for long; he posted bond.
"He did it and he needs to pay for it," said Harbin.
When we went to Haile's home to ask him about the charges he is facing, he had no comment. The Harbin's have hired attorney Jon DeCamilliss and have filed a civil suit against Haile and his former employer.
"We are asking eventually a jury to hold Kentuckiana Nursing Services responsible," said DeCamillis. "We allege they are vicariously liable for his actions they hired him."
Harbin says Kris has shown obvious behavior changes since the alleged abuse. She says Kris started acting defensive, biting, having frequent seizures, and keeps to himself. She hopes her story is a wakeup call to other parents.
"He didn't do anything to deserve that, he didn't aggravate him," said Harbin.
Brandon Lawrence, the attorney representing Haile, sent us a statement saying that his client maintains his innocence and is looking forward to his day in court on July 26.
Kentuckiana Nursing Services told WAVE 3 they haven't changed their policies and feel they are complying with the proper Medicaid regulations.
Harbin says she is going to the state trying to put caregivers charged with abuse and neglect on a registry.
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