Case tests new law protecting vulnerable adults

ANOKA, Minn. (AP) — A case filed this month is one of the first under a revised Minnesota law that allows people accused of willfully neglecting vulnerable adults to be charged with felonies.

A criminal complaint filed in Anoka County alleges 54-year-old Dawn Kulbeik sat by as her 87-year-old mother’s health deteriorated, leading to complications that killed her.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/GVwq9j ) she’s only the second person charged with felony neglect of a vulnerable adult under the revised statute. There has yet to be a conviction.

Kimberly Dayton, a professor at the William Mitchell College of Law, says the first few prosecutions are going to be very important and could be precedent-setting.

Until last year, the worst charge a Minnesotan could face for neglecting a vulnerable adult was a gross misdemeanor.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

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