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Two Charged with Abuse of Care-dependent Persons

SCRANTON, Pa. — Two workers at a group home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are now charged with abusing a woman in their...

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Two workers at a group home for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are now charged with abusing a woman in their care.

Two former employees of The Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania were arrested Thursday morning, accused of abusing a resident at a group home in Scranton.

Magisterial District Judge Laura Turlip called the allegations, in this case, some of the most disturbing she's ever seen.

The former Arc caretakers can allegedly be heard and seen in video clips abusing a mentally challenged woman.

Lisa Wall, 41, and Eileen Dougherty, 39, were arrested on 10 counts of abuse of a care-dependent person.

Paperwork shows that police went to the group home on Chesterfield Lane in Scranton's west side at the end of December to perform a welfare check after an investigator from Adult Protective Services had received disturbing videos.

Police say 10 separate videos show Wall and Dougherty repeatedly throwing a piece of chicken in different places at the group home, including the porch, shower, a dark basement, under a toilet, and in the bushes and then instructing the victim to fetch the chicken and eat it.

When the victim did so, the women can be heard laughing, police say.

"When people are entrusted to take care of your loved one, and they violate that trust, it's something in society that should really be frowned upon by everybody," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano,

Maryclaire Kretsch is the executive director for the Arc of Northeastern Pennsylvania. She's outraged by the actions of Wall and Dougherty.

"This is not who we are, certainly not who we are."

Kretsch tells Newswatch 16 the organization does background checks on all employees and ensures every caretaker has the proper clearances.

"So, no, this is certainly not what we would expect. Yet there's an element of trust. We can't be there 24 hours a day. We trust that our staff will provide proper care," said Kretsch.

As for Wall and Dougherty, Kretsch says there were no indicators of misconduct. Dougherty had worked at the Arc for almost 10 years, Wall for about four years.

"To the contrary, our interactions were positive. Our reports were that the care that they provided while we were present was appropriate."

Both Wall and Dougherty said the videos were made "in poor taste" and they never meant to harm the victim.

Dougherty admitted to taking the videos and sending them to her ex-boyfriend.

The videos eventually wound up in the hands of Adult Protective Services, and then police.

Both Dougherty and Wall say the videos were made "in poor taste" and were never meant to harm the victim. They're locked up in the Lackawanna County Prison with bail set at $50,000.