Former aide pleads guilty to assaulting patient

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A former aide at a residential facility for the mentally handicapped pleaded guilty in federal court to assaulting and mistreating a patient.

Jarvis Malone pleaded guilty Friday to violating the constitutional rights of a patient at Arlington Developmental Center, about 30 miles east of Memphis.

While working as a developmental technician in June 2005, Malone stood the patient against a wall and assaulted him, according to a news release from the federal prosecutor's office.

"Civil rights laws are meant to protect all Americans, including the most vulnerable members of our society," said Wan J. Kim, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division in a press statement.

He could receive 10 years in prison along with a fine of $250,000. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for October.

The facility was at the center of costly abuse and neglect lawsuits filed in 1991 by the Justice Department.

The center is scheduled to close in 2010 and has been relocating patients.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)