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Ardmore woman accused of abusing disabled patient

Sierra Rains
Charity Dawn Stapleton

An Ardmore woman is accused of physically abusing a disabled patient under her care. 

Charity Dawn Stapleton, 35, of Ardmore, was taken into custody for one count of abuse by a caretaker last week after a warrant was filed for her arrest. She bonded out of jail a day later on Oct. 31, according to Carter County Sheriff booking reports. 

Ardmore Police Department Capt. Claude Henry said officers took a report from an at-home care business towards the end of September in reference to a possible assault and battery against a client with an intellectual disability. 

“They stated that there was a patient who reported that another patient had been assaulted by an employee who was a caregiver for them,” Henry said. Witnesses alleged that Stapleton struck the client with a cane across the stomach area. 

Henry said the victim suffered bruising to his abdomen area and was examined by medical professionals. After further investigation, including interviews with witnesses, employees at the care facility and the suspect, police submitted a report to the district attorney’s office. 

“After review, the district attorney felt that there was enough evidence to charge Mrs. Stapleton for abuse by a caretaker,” Henry said. Police are unsure of a motive for the assault and Stapleton has reportedly denied that an assault occurred. 

A preliminary conference is scheduled for Dec. 17. If found guilty, Stapleton could face up to 10 years of imprisonment or a fine of up to $10,000, or both a fine and imprisonment.