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Nursing home worker accused of elder abuse

July 12, 2011

Waukesha - An employee at a Waukesha health care facility was charged July 7 for allegedly abusing an elderly patient who was suffering from dementia.

Frettie L. Powell, 52, of Milwaukee, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with a felony count of intentional abuse of a patient and is scheduled to make her initial appearance in court July 20.

According to the criminal complaint, Laura Gatewood, an employee of Waukesha Springs Health and Rehabilitation Center, 1810 Kensington Drive, informed police on June 13 that the previous day a woman, Gabreila Moersfelder, was cleaning out a room that belonged to her late friend and while doing so heard a woman screaming from the adjoining room.

Moersfelder told police she heard the 81-year-old woman scream, "no" and "stop," and when Moersfelder opened the door saw Powell allegedly strike the patient in the upper left leg area, call the woman names, and yelled at her that she had to "clean up her mess," the complaint said.

Moersfelder said he heard Powell allegedly say to the patient she was "bleeding like a goose," the complaint said.

Gatewood examined the patient and saw five red marks on the woman's left thigh that appeared to have come from fingernails, the complaint said.

Powell denied any wrongdoing, the complaint said.

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