2020 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 5 - Crimes Against the Person
Article 8 - Protection of Elder Persons
§ 16-5-102. Exploitation and Intimidation of Disabled Adults, Elder Persons, and Residents; Obstruction of Investigation

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-5-102 (2020)
  1. Any person who knowingly and willfully exploits a disabled adult, elder person, or resident, willfully inflicts physical pain, physical injury, sexual abuse, mental anguish, or unreasonable confinement upon a disabled adult, elder person, or resident, or willfully deprives of essential services a disabled adult, elder person, or resident shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years, a fine of not more than $50,000.00, or both.
  2. Any person who threatens, intimidates, or attempts to intimidate a disabled adult, elder person, or resident who is the subject of a report made pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 30 or Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31, or any other person cooperating with an investigation conducted pursuant to this Code section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
  3. Any person who willfully and knowingly obstructs or in any way impedes an investigation conducted pursuant to Chapter 5 of Title 30 or Article 4 of Chapter 8 of Title 31, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(Code 1981, §16-5-102, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 524, § 1-1/HB 78.)

Law reviews.

- For article on Crimes and Offenses: Crimes Against the Person, see 35 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 19 (2018).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Knowledge that victim disabled not relevant.

- Trial court did not err in concluding that the portion of O.C.G.A. § 16-5-102(a) that formed the basis for the charged offense did not require the state to prove that the defendant knew the victim was disabled when defendant attacked the victim. Cawthon v. State, 350 Ga. App. 741, 830 S.E.2d 270 (2019).

Evidence sufficient.

- Victim's inability to provide for oneself and manage the victim's financial resources combined with the victim's low IQ score constituted sufficient evidence to support the jury's conclusion that the victim was mentally or physically incapacitated during the relevant time period and, thus, to support the defendant's conviction for abuse of a disabled adult. Cawthon v. State, 350 Ga. App. 741, 830 S.E.2d 270 (2019).

Merger with neglect.

- Evidence supported the defendant's convictions for neglect, abuse, and exploitation of three disabled men that the defendant kept locked in the defendant's mother's basement with no sheets, a poorly functioning toilet, and an uncarpeted concrete floor, O.C.G.A. §§ 31-7-12.1,16-5-101,16-5-102; however, as charged, the abuse by deprivation convictions should have been merged with the neglect convictions. Exploitation was shown by the defendant's use of one man's government assistance check for the defendant's own purposes. Hawkins v. State, 350 Ga. App. 862, 830 S.E.2d 301 (2019).

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