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Flagstaff caregiver convicted of sexual assault

The victim's family sued the facility alleging negligence and elder abuse. Records show the facility settled.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A medical technician at a Flagstaff nursing home is awaiting sentencing after he sexually assaulted an elderly woman with memory issues who he was supposed to be caring for.

Jonathan Chesley, 41, was found guilty of sexual assault, vulnerable adult abuse, aggravated assault and tampering with physical evidence.

Chesley was working as a medical technician at The Peaks, a nursing home in Flagstaff. He was working in the memory care unit on the morning of January 24, 2021, according to a report from the Flagstaff Police Department.

Chesley encouraged his two colleagues to take breaks at the same time, leaving him alone. That's when records show he walked into the room of an elderly woman with memory issues and sexually assaulted her.

Another employee walked into the room and witnessed it.

According to police, that employee screamed as she saw Chesley with his pants down standing over the victim.

In the minutes following the assault, documents show Chesley frantically grabbed cleaning supplies and went back and forth into the victim's room at least three times. 

Police arrived at the facility and Chesley initially told detectives he was changing the victim's clothing and his pants were too big so they fell down. However, he was subsequently arrested.

Earlier this month, he was found guilty. Chesley is scheduled to be sentenced in Coconino County Superior Court on December 1.

Flagstaff PD says they did not discover any additional victims in their investigation.

Michele Ortiz, the executive director of The Peaks, released the following statement:

"The Peaks, A Senior Living Community (The Peaks) is aware of the allegations and charges made against a former employee. Although we cannot comment on the specific allegations made against the former employee, The Peaks has been cooperating with the Flagstaff Police Department and the office of the County Attorney, and will continue to cooperate as needed. The safety and well-being of our residents is our highest priority. We are fully committed to providing a safe and caring environment for our residents."

Family says facility was negligent

The disturbing incident prompted the victim's family to file a civil lawsuit against Chesley, The Peaks, Northern Arizona Senior Living Community, and the Goodman Group which manages the facility.

The lawsuit alleged the facility was negligent. 

Prior to working at The Peaks, records show Chesley was a school teacher. He then worked at Brookdale, another assisted living facility. He was terminated for mishandling patient medications.

The civil suit also alleges employees at The Peaks broke protocol in leaving Chesley alone in the memory care unit. It says there was a delay in reporting the assault and Chesley was allowed time to dispose of evidence and have continued access to the victim.

Court records show a settlement was granted earlier this year.

ADHS involvement 

Online records show Arizona's Department of Health Services conducted a survey at The Peaks in December 2020, a month before the assault. ADHS records indicate surveyors did not go back until August 2022.

12News emailed ADHS asking if they conducted an investigation following the sexual assault but ADHS has not responded.

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