Criminal charges against two health care aides accused of assaulting residents at a Winnipeg personal care home have been stayed.
Kumba Mansaray, 49, and Kadiatu Koroma, 36, were each charged with assault last September over allegations of abuse at Extendicare Oakview Place, in Winnipeg’s Sturgeon Heights neighbourhood.
Crown prosecutor Marnie Evans entered the stay of proceedings on May 30 in provincial court. CBC News reviewed a recording of the hearing.
The decision came after prosecutors requested more information from the Winnipeg Police Service, Evans told the court.
“After a further review it was determined the matter no longer meets our charging standard as there is no longer a reasonable likelihood of conviction,” Evans said.
Evans did not elaborate in court on what the additional evidence was.
Mansaray was initially charged with three counts of assault while Koroma was charged with two.
However, three of those charges were later dropped after Crown prosecutors reviewed the case, and Mansaray and Koroma were left facing one assault charge each, the court was told.
Neither defendant attended the May 30 hearing.
A stay means a charge is not proceeding through court at this time, but does not mean it has been formally withdrawn. Should new evidence come to light within one year of the stay, the charge can be brought forward again.
A spokesperson for Extendicare, the for-profit company that owns Oakview Place, did not comment on the stayed charges but instead referred CBC News to comments the company made last year.
In December 2022, Extendicare said the two health-care aides had been fired and that the care home has made significant changes to protect residents’ safety, including training for staff on abuse and neglect policies.
CBC News has contacted the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and is awaiting a response.
The allegations were first made public last June when the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said two whistleblowers had come forward about the alleged abuse of 15 residents at Extendicare Oakview Place.
The facility reportedly knew about the allegations as early as February 2022 but failed to report them to the regional health authority or police, the health authority said.
The news of the stayed charges, which was first reported by the Winnipeg Free Press, comes the same week as the release of a scathing report from Manitoba’s auditor general into physical and sexual abuse in personal care homes.
The report found that the office responsible for investigating the abuse allegations failed to do so, even when, in one case, a health-care aide was criminally charged.
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