Caretaker charged with assault on disabled woman

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Michelle Dukes (SCSO)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A caretaker at an independent living facility is facing charges after she allegedly assaulted a developmentally challenged woman.

Michelle Dukes of Memphis is charged with simple assault, willful physical abuse or gross negligence and willful abuse, neglect or exploitation.

According to police, Dukes worked at a facility in a neighborhood on Elmridge near the Memphis airport that was staffed with workers from Capitol City Residential Health Care.

An anonymous person sent cell phone photos to managers there that appear to show Dukes hitting the woman in the face and head with a med box and blocking pads, police said.

The woman was seen crying in the photos and there appeared to be a knot on her forehead. She later identified Dukes as the person who assaulted her.

Though she was not able to tell police exactly when the incident occurred, the woman said it happened recently.

Capitol City Residential Health Care responded to the allegations against its employee Tuesday in a statement.

“CCRHC received a report from one of our staff, including photos, alleging Client abuse. CCRHC followed State and internal agency protocol which included notifying local authorities and the DIDD.

“CCRHC is fully cooperating in this investigation. The staff member in question has been suspended pending the outcome.”