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April 1, 2010 - Nursing Home Worker on Trial for Abuse

Prosecutors told a California jury that a nursing home worker allegedly assaulted elderly patients with moves more appropriate for the wrestling ring.

Cesar Ulloa, 21, Reseda, was on trial in Van Nuys this week on charges of seven counts of elder abuse and one count of torture for alleged mistreatment of patients at a Calabasas retirement home.

"He attacked the most vulnerable people you can possibly find," Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Robin Allen told the jury. "He hit them and he laughed. This was sport."

The Los Angeles Times said Wednesday that another employee testified she saw Ulloa jump off a dresser and land on a bedridden dementia patient. Prosecutors also alleged he body-slammed a woman on to her bed during a struggle.

Ulloa's defense attorney said the charges were based on unfounded rumors among the facility staff and he noted Ulloa had been named "employee of the month."

Ulloa's lawyer also said the facility lacked precautions against combative dementia patients wandering around and either hurting themselves or getting into struggles with staff members.

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