A 47-year-old man who worked at a senior living facility in Vancouver was sentenced Wednesday to 20 months in prison on a charge of indecent liberties, stemming from him being discovered partly disrobed and exposed in a patient’s room.
Clark County Superior Court Judge David Gregerson imposed the sentence against Eric Mahgum Thorson, describing the case as disturbing.
“It makes you think of someone you may know living at one of these facilities,” Gregerson said.
Thorson originally faced a second-degree attempted rape charge, but negotiations between attorneys and discussions with the victim’s family resulted in the agreed-upon resolution. The judge noted that the victim’s health may have affected the outcome of the case had it gone to trial.
Court records say the patient suffers from significant cognitive and mental decline due to advanced dementia. Following interviews with the patient, her guardian and caregivers, detectives determined she was incapable of giving consent to Thorson.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu also clarified Thorson’s connection to Brookdale Vancouver Stonebridge, a senior living facility at 7900 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive. Thorson was the employee of a temporary work agency that had been contracted by Brookdale for housekeeping. Thorson had been working at the home for about two weeks, according to the prosecutor.
A Vancouver police officer was dispatched at 10:35 p.m. Sept. 27 to the facility. A caregiver said she’d been making her routine rounds, walked into a patient’s room and noticed it was dark, which was unusual at that time of night, according to a probable cause affidavit.
She was confronted by a man whom she identified as Thorson. He was standing near the room’s closet, “almost totally disrobed … wearing a ‘Speedo-type thing,” and was partially exposed, the affidavit says.
The patient was near her bed wearing underwear and wrapped in a sheet, according to the affidavit. Thorson admitted to kissing and touching the woman, according to the prosecution.
In an interview with police, Thorson allegedly said he and the woman were a couple. Vu said this could not be true given the patient’s health and the short amount of time Thorson had been working there.
When given a chance to address the court, Thorson said he is indigent and will likely have a hard time finding work upon release, but he would try to pay any restitution the court imposed.
Thorson is also required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.