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Ex-aide at Bell Township group home aide gets jail for neglect

| Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A former aide in a group home will serve at least three months in jail for neglecting a severely handicapped resident who suffered horrific injuries at the facility last year.

Ian Frederick Sagucio, 31, of Southwest Greensburg apologized to the family of his 25-year-old victim during a sentencing hearing on Thursday before Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr.

“All I have to say is that I am truly sorry for what happened and that he got hurt,” Sagucio said.

The victim's mother told the judge that her son's injuries went beyond neglect.

In May, Sagucio pleaded guilty to neglecting a dependent person in his care. He pleaded no contest to charges of reckless endangerment and simple assault.

Police said the victim, who is autistic, deaf and operates at the mental level of a 1-year-old, suffered severe bruises and lacerations to his genitals.

But Sagucio was not charged with directly causing the injuries. Assistant District Attorney Judy Petrush said that because the victim was unable to communicate, there was no direct evidence linking Sagucio to the injuries.

McCormick said that lack of evidence forced him to impose a standard penalty under state sentencing guidelines rather than a maximum of five years in prison sought by the prosecution and the victim's family.

“I understand there are a number of people who are disappointed with the court's sentence. But we are a nation of laws,” McCormick said.

He ordered Sagucio to serve three to 23 months in jail, followed by three years of probation.

The injured man's mother pleaded with McCormick to impose a maximum sentence.

“If this isn't a case of aggravating factors, I don't know what is. Ian's actions were much more than neglect,” she told the judge.

Police said Sagucio worked as a health-care aide for Northeastern Human Services on the overnight shift at a Bell Township group home where the victim lived.

According to court records, the victim suffered bruises and cuts to his genitalia and his inner thigh and was treated at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg on June 23, 2012.

Sagucio told police he shoved the victim into a wooden bed frame because the man disturbed him while he was making breakfast, according to court records.

Sagucio said he “was frustrated over heavy financial issues and he and his family may be evicted,” police said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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