Judge sentences former clinical assistant in felony abuse case

(The following press release and photo were submitted from the Mississippi Attorney General's office.)

JACKSON—A 24-year-old man will spend two years behind bars for abusing a patient while working as a clinical assistant in Hattiesburg, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

James Haydel, 24, entered an open plea to one count of felony abuse of a vulnerable person on November 8. Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Bob Helfrich sentenced Haydel Monday to 12 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with two years to serve and 10 years suspended. Haydel must serve the remaining eight years on post-release supervision.

Haydel was arrested on October 11, 2016, by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for engaging in sexual penetration with a patient in a Hattiesburg healthcare facility where Haydel was employed as a clinical assistant.

“Good caregivers are a lifeline for our vulnerable population, whether elderly, adolescent, or disabled,” said General Hood. “This case should not deflect from the many caregivers across our state who are doing right by their patients. It should serve as a reminder that the calling is one with standards of decency and self-control. We are working hard every day to protect all our residents, especially our most vulnerable.”

This case was investigated by Trey Rogers and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Tina Herron.

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