Mean Girls Allegedly Spit at, Poked Patients

Eight Minnesota teens allegedly tormented helpless patients.

Jan. 23, 2009 — -- Two of the eight teenagers facing charges for allegedly torturing residents who had Alzheimer's disease and dementia at a Minnesota nursing home were arraigned Thursday and released after posting bond.

Brianna Broitzman, 19, and Ashton Larson, 19, reportedly spit at, poked and rubbed the genitals of at least seven residents at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Albert Lea, Minn., according to a criminal complaint filed in December and obtained by

According to ABC News affiliate KAAL-TV in Minnesota, Larson cried when leaving the courthouse while Broitzman walked away briskly.

Jean Hanson, the daughter of one of the victims of the alleged assaults, told KAAL that she's "very, very sad that my mother-in-law and all these other victims had to go through this."

Six others are also named in the complaint but are identified only by their initials because they are minors. Broitzman faces a total of 11 criminal charges and Larson faces 10, including assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult with sexual contact.

The Albert Lea Police Department launched an investigation after they were notified of the suspected abuse at the nursing home in May 2008. The probe led them to several young part-time nursing assistants.

While several of them took part in the alleged abuse, according to the complaint, authorities were also investigating teens who failed to report the incidents. was unable to reach either Broitzman or Larson for comment.

In an interview with police May 6, 2008, Broitzman admitted to poking a patient in the breasts and said that "numerous videos and pictures were taken of residents."

The alleged abuse is believed to have taken place between Jan. 1 and May 1, 2008.

One of the minors involved in the abuse told authorities that Broitzman and Larson would play with a patient's cane, "ride it like a horse" and "spank [the patient] on the buttocks with it."

According to the criminal complaint filed against Larson, the teen admitted to spitting water on a resident, lying in a bed with a resident and kissing her and inserting a finger into a patient's rectum.

Larson states that there was a video of the group taking off a patient's hat "to antagonize him." Larson also admitted to patting a resident's buttocks, according to the complaint.

Another unidentified teen said in the complaint that she recalled an instance when Ashton had been "washing a guy up and was rougher than they needed and he got an erection from it."

Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said that the teens could face up to one year in prison, $300,000 in fines or both if convicted of the charges.

Nelson, who declined to speak further with about the pending case, told the Minnesota Star Tribune that if found guilty, the teens would "most likely face suspended jail sentences and probation, so they'd have the threat of jail hanging over them if they get into more trouble."

Mark Anderson, the administrator of the nursing home, did not respond to messages left by

Anderson told a local news station that he was devastated when he heard about the allegations.

"Our hearts are in the right place," said Anderson. "We're moving forward. Our heads are held up high."