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Statutes Text

Article - Criminal Law




§3–604.

    (a)    (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)    (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)    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)    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.