Jefferson County, In. — A Jefferson County nurse this month received a six-year executed sentence for committing battery in 2014 and 2015 against four elderly patients under her care. The sentence followed an investigation by Attorney General Curtis Hill’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). The Office of the Attorney General also prosecuted the case.
Sharon Back, now 67, was working at Madison State Hospital at the time she committed the felony acts against the four mental-health patients. All of her victims were over 65; two were 79.
“Professionals who care for sick, elderly and infirm Hoosiers have special roles and responsibilities that we all expect them to fulfill,” Attorney General Hill said. “When these individuals decide to bring harm instead of help, they betray us all. Our office will continue to hold accountable those who abuse their positions of trust in this manner.”
Back pleaded guilty to her crimes on April 17; she was sentenced on May 13.
At sentencing, Back was ordered to serve 100 days in the Jefferson County Jail, starting on May 20. She will serve the remainder of her sentence through Jefferson County Community Corrections.
Back was terminated from Madison State Hospital on Sept. 5, 2015, following an internal investigation into allegations by her coworkers that she was abusing patients in the facility’s “Healing Heights” unit, which functions as the hospital wing for patients who suffer from physical infirmities.
Back voluntarily agreed to the revocation of her nursing license on March 29, 2016. The Office of the Attorney General filed criminal charges in October 2016, following a referral back from the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office.