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Jury Selection Begins In Case Of Alleged Abuse By Caregiver

February 5, 2019
Jury Selection Begins In Case Of Alleged Abuse By Caregiver

WILKES-BARRE — Jury selection got under way Monday in the case of a caregiver accused of molesting a woman who has the mental state of a baby. Andrew Dula III, 56, of Shickshinny, is awaiting trial on sex charges alleging he had inappropriate contact with a 37-year-old woman at the Institute for Human Resources and Services care home at 99 N. Dawes Ave. in Kingston between November 2015 and February 2016. The woman has spastic cerebral palsy and functions at the level of a child less than 1 year old, according to prosecutors. Attorneys spent much of the day Monday questioning prospective jurors, and court adjourned for the day without a panel being selected. The process was scheduled to resume this morning. The charges stem from an incident early the morning of Feb. 3, 2016, when a co-worker heard the woman screaming and walked in to find her naked from the waist down. The woman was lying with her feet toward Dula, who was holding her legs, according to prosecutors. Dula, who had previously been warned about unnecessarily changing the woman’s diaper, had removed a clean diaper and was holding a new one, according to prosecutors. The prosecution alleges that the woman’s sleeplessness and whining in Dula’s presence, combined with the inexplicable diaper changes, demonstrate he was abusing her. The defense counters that the woman’s mental state means she cannot accurately perceive her environment. Dula is charged with attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, attempted sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, institutional sexual assault, indecent assault and indecent exposure. He has been free on $25,000 since his arrest in March 2016. Contact the writer: jhalpin@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2058

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