3.  OFFENSES AFFECTING THE HEALTH AND

SAFETY OF THE INFIRM

§93.3.  Cruelty to the infirmed

A.  Cruelty to the infirmed is the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect by any person, including a caregiver, whereby unjustifiable pain, malnourishment, or suffering is caused to the infirmed, a disabled adult, or an aged person, including but not limited to a person who is a resident of a nursing home, mental retardation facility, mental health facility, hospital, or other residential facility.

B.  "Caregiver" is defined as any person or persons who temporarily or permanently is responsible for the care of the infirmed, physically or mentally disabled adult, or aged person, whether such care is voluntarily assumed or is assigned.  Caregiver includes but is not limited to adult children, parents, relatives, neighbors, daycare institutions and facilities, adult congregate living facilities, and nursing homes which or who have voluntarily assumed or been assigned the care of an aged or infirmed person or disabled adult, or have assumed voluntary residence with an aged or infirmed person or disabled adult.

C.   For the purposes of this Section, an aged person is any individual sixty years of age or older.

D.  The providing of treatment by a caregiver in accordance with a well-recognized spiritual method of healing, in lieu of medical treatment, shall not for that reason alone be considered the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect of an infirmed, a disabled adult, or an aged person.  The provisions of this Subsection shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this Section.

E.(1)  Whoever commits the crime of cruelty to any infirmed person, disabled adult, or aged person shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than ten years, or both.  At least one year of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence when the act of cruelty to the infirmed was intentional and malicious.

(2)  Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars and imprisoned at hard labor for not less than five years nor more than ten years.  Five years of the sentence of imprisonment imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Added by Acts 1981, No. 850, §1; Acts 1987, No. 87, §1, eff. June 18, 1987; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 26, §1; Acts 1995, No. 841, §1; Acts 1995, No. 883, §1; Acts 2003, No. 434, §1; Acts 2010, No. 831, §1.