LINCOLN — A former supervisor at the Beatrice State Developmental Center has been convicted of a reduced charge stemming from an assault of an intellectually disabled resident.
Shawn E. Ebeling pleaded no contest this week to a misdemeanor charge of attempted abuse of a vulnerable adult. Under a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from a felony that carried a potential sentence of three years in prison.
Gage County District Judge Daniel Bryan Jr. found Ebeling guilty and set sentencing for Jan. 5. Ebeling now faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail.
Ebeling, 37, was accused of assaulting a resident of the state-run center that provides care for people with severe developmental and physical disabilities.
A co-worker who reported the incident said Ebeling twice struck the resident in the head. Ebeling also shook the resident, causing his head to strike a fuse box lever, which left a cut above his eye.
Ebeling had worked at the center since 2010. The abuse incident occurred on Aug. 9, 2015.
The Beatrice center has been plagued by a history of staff abusing and neglecting residents. The problems led to seven years of oversight by the U.S. Department of Justice and the loss of tens of millions of dollars in federal funding.
Federal oversight was lifted in 2015 after conditions had improved at the center.
Five former workers at the Beatrice center were convicted of abuse charges in 2011. All five received jail or prison sentences.