LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A jury took only 30 minutes to convict a man of taking advantage of an elderly woman suffering from dementia.
The 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office said Gary Gorman, 43, of Greenwell Springs, was found guilty of exploitation of the infirmed on October 1. He was arrested by the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office in October 2011 after being contacted by Elderly Protective Services.
According to the prosecutor, Gorman took advantage of a 75-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2009 due to an accident, over several years. Asst. District Attorney Charlotte Herbert said he allowed her to believe they were in a romantic relationship and eventually get married.
The victim donated all of her property to him, gave him $132,000 from money left by her dead husband and gave him $88,000 from a reverse mortgage she took out on her home. She also let him use her credit cards and gave him power of attorney over her.
Her doctor testified during the trial that the woman was in no condition to make those kinds of financial and legal decisions.
"If you take someone's property when that person is either 60 years of age or older, or infirmed, and if you do it pursuant of a fraudulent misrepresentation, that's a crime," Herbert said in a written release.
She added the victim's family tried to get the woman to move to north Louisiana with them during the early stages of dementia, while she was also taking pain medication, but the victim refused and told them Gorman would take care of her.
The trial started on September 17, but was put on hold after a witness was injured. The case resumed on September 30 and the verdict was reached the next day.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 19. He faces up to 10 years in prison.