2010 Maryland Code
CRIMINAL LAW
TITLE 3 - OTHER CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
Subtitle 6 - Abuse and Other Offensive Conduct
Section 3-604 - Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult in the first degree.

§ 3-604. Abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult in the first degree.
 

(a)  Definitions.-  

(1) In this section and §§ 3-605 and 3-606 of this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated. 

(2) (i) "Abuse" means the sustaining of physical pain or injury by a vulnerable adult as a result of cruel or inhumane treatment or as a result of a malicious act under circumstances that indicate that the vulnerable adult's health or welfare is harmed or threatened. 

(ii) "Abuse" includes the sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult. 

(iii) "Abuse" does not include an accepted medical or behavioral procedure ordered by a health care provider authorized to practice under the Health Occupations Article or § 13-516 of the Education Article acting within the scope of the health care provider's practice. 

(3) "Caregiver" means a person under a duty to care for a vulnerable adult because of a contractual undertaking to provide care. 

(4) "Family member" means a relative of a vulnerable adult by blood, marriage, adoption, or the marriage of a child. 

(5) "Household" means the location: 

(i) in which the vulnerable adult resides; 

(ii) where the abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult is alleged to have taken place; or 

(iii) where the person suspected of abusing or neglecting a vulnerable adult resides. 

(6) "Household member" means an individual who lives with or is a regular presence in a home of a vulnerable adult at the time of the alleged abuse or neglect. 

(7) (i) "Neglect" means the intentional failure to provide necessary assistance and resources for the physical needs of a vulnerable adult, including: 

1. food; 

2. clothing; 

3. toileting; 

4. essential medical treatment; 

5. shelter; or 

6. supervision. 

(ii) "Neglect" does not include the provision of nonmedical remedial care and treatment for the healing of injury or disease that is: 

1. given with the consent of the vulnerable adult; and 

2. recognized by State law in place of medical treatment. 

(8) "Serious physical injury" means physical injury that: 

(i) creates a substantial risk of death; or 

(ii) causes permanent or protracted serious: 

1. disfigurement; 

2. loss of the function of any bodily member or organ; or 

3. impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. 

(9) (i) "Sexual abuse" means an act that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. 

(ii) "Sexual abuse" includes: 

1. incest; 

2. rape; 

3. sexual offense in any degree; 

4. sodomy; and 

5. unnatural or perverted sexual practices. 

(10) "Vulnerable adult" means an adult who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for the adult's daily needs. 

(b)  Prohibited.-  

(1) A caregiver, a parent, or other person who has permanent or temporary care or responsibility for the supervision of a vulnerable adult may not cause abuse or neglect of the vulnerable adult that: 

(i) results in the death of the vulnerable adult; 

(ii) causes serious physical injury to the vulnerable adult; or 

(iii) involves sexual abuse of the vulnerable adult. 

(2) A household member or family member may not cause abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult that: 

(i) results in the death of the vulnerable adult; 

(ii) causes serious physical injury to the vulnerable adult; or 

(iii) involves sexual abuse of the vulnerable adult. 

(c)  Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $10,000 or both. 

(d)  Sentencing.- A sentence imposed under this section shall be in addition to any other sentence imposed for a conviction arising from the same facts and circumstances unless the evidence required to prove each crime is substantially identical. 
 

[An. Code 1957, art. 27, § 35D(a), (b); 2002, ch. 26, §§ 2, 12; ch. 273, § 1; ch. 321, § 2; ch. 479, § 2; ch. 480, § 2.] 

 

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