SARTELL - A Sartell assisted living facility has been cited after three residents with dementia were allegedly sexually abused by an employee.

According to an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health, three residents were molested by an employee at The Legends at Heritage Place. All three had dementia and were unable to report the abuse.

Two staff members witnessed the abuse, but the state says the facility administrative staff failed to thoroughly investigate or report the allegations.

At the beginning of February, a Legends employee saw a caregiver touch a residents breasts and say "I just love to touch [them]".  Later that month, the staff member was again seen touching their breasts and commenting on them. Near the end of February, the caregiver fondled a different resident's breasts and ignored a co-worker's orders to stop.

In March, an employee saw the staff member touch another resident's genitals and heard them screaming for the staff member to stop.

During an interview, the staff person denied the allegations, saying they were cleaning the resident. Contact with area law enforcement revealed the case was being investigated and referred for charges.

The employees said they reported the incidents to administrative nursing staff verbally and with notes left in the office. They said they didn't hear any response from administration.

Administration said the staff member continued to work with clients and was suspended when law enforcement came to the agency at the end of March to investigate.