By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
A Nigerian caregiver, Godbless Uwadiegwu, who pleaded guilty to sex crimes involving memory care patients in Ohio, United States has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Uwadiegwu, 59, of Middletown, pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual imposition in November. He sexually assaulted two women at two different facilities in Warren County.
On Tuesday, Judge Don Oda sentenced Uwadiegwu to the maximum prison sentence, 18 months on each conviction for a total of three years, wlwt reports.
Victims and their families didn’t attend the sentence hearing due to airline and COVID-19 issues, but a livestream was available for them to watch it remotely.
In addition, victim advocate, Erika Bourelle, read letters on behalf of the victims and their families.
One letter was written by one of the victims herself.
“Some people may not remember, but I do. This happened on his first day in my building. I needed assistance after using the restroom and he came in to help me wipe,” she wrote.
The victim described how Uwadiegwu sexually assaulted her.
“I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ And he was very shocked and said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. That was an accident,’” the victim wrote.
“He takes advantage of people who can’t defend themselves, and I think he needs to go to prison for as long as possible,” she added.
Bourelle read another letter written by the second victim’s son. His mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and dementia
“It is obvious what a sad, pathetic person you are. What kind of monster preys on defenceless women?
“Thanks to this terrible disease, there is less and less of my mother, but she has moments of clarity, times when mom is back. Her eyes are clear and she is exactly how I remember her. We live for those moments. Unfortunately, when it comes to the sexual assault, my mother remembers,” he wrote.
He said Uwadiegwu used to bring his mother gifts and candy to gain her trust. Instead, he betrayed it.
“My mother doesn’t remember much these days, but she remembers you and what you did. So, she is left with shame and fear. That is the impact on my mother,” he added.
On Tuesday, Uwadiegwu spoke for the first time publicly. He didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, saying he was just doing his job.
“I have been a missionary. I lived in a church, and I have been working to help people in this field.As a caregiver, I put empathy in my work in helping people,” Uwadiegwu said.
Uwadiegwu said the job of a caregiver is a very serious job and sometimes he had to clean patients.
“I really apologise if there was any way to think I had done anything I shouldn’t do,” Uwadiegwu said. It never came across my mind at any time. Please believe me,” he added.
Uwadiegwu faces similar charges in Butler County. He’s scheduled to appear in court next week.