An elderly grandmother of eight was raped in her own bed by her in-house carer after the ‘despicable’ predator wheeled her disabled husband out of their bedroom.
As the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety continues around Australia, Daily Mail Australia can reveal a shocking case of cruelty against an 83-year old woman.
Her abuser, Simon Prodanovich, had only been in the aged-care business for a little over a year when he pounced on his helpless victim.
Simon Prodanovich, 59, raped an elderly grandmother in her own bed. He wheeled her sick husband out of the room before pouncing on the helpless woman
A royal commission into aged care has been running in Australia for weeks. The commission has heard a series of shocking examples of elder abuse by carers
The 59-year old from Springvale – in Melbourne’s south east – was supposed to be helping the fragile woman’s husband, who suffers a variety of ailments and is confined to a wheelchair.
The couple had been married for more than 60 years and lived most of their years together in their Mount Waverley home where the attack happened.
The mother-of-three had been her husband’s carer, although she was hardly in good health herself.
Prodanovich had been employed by Omni-Care, which boasts online that its carers help ‘maintain the quality of life, dignity and independence of people living in our community who are elderly, disabled or who have serious medical conditions’.
On January 12, Prodanovich entered the unlocked home of his victim and gave her husband a sponge bath.
The fiercely independent couple had been loathe to allow carers into their home, but conceded to their daughters’ wishes so they wouldn’t need to go into an aged care facility.
When done, his victim mentioned she needed her medications to help with her legs.
Prodanovich told her to forget about the meds and that a massage would help.
He wheeled her husband into the lounge room and when he returned began to massage the trusting woman.
What happened next was the stuff of nightmares, with Prodanovich licking his fingers and raping the terrified woman, who begged him to stop.
Simon Prodanovich, had only been in the aged-care business for a little over a year when he pounced on his helpless victim
Prodanovich had been employed by Omni-Care, which boasts online that its carers help ‘maintain the quality of life, dignity and independence of people living in our community who are elderly, disabled or who have serious medical conditions’
He fled the house and the police were called into investigate.
When questioned days later, Prodanovich came armed with a prepared statement.
He indignantly denied the allegations, describing his victim’s complaint as ‘fabricated’ and ‘totally false’.
But he didn’t stop there, going so far as to say the elderly woman had made the complaint in ‘revenge’ for him refusing to rub lotion on her.
He said he was ‘gobsmacked’ that a woman of her age would ‘slander’ him.
Prodanovich maintained his cruel facade right up until he knew he could no longer deny it.
DNA he had left from injuries within his victim revealed the grubby truth and Prodanovich confessed.
He pleaded guilty to rape in the County Court of Victoria and faces up to 25 years in prison.
The father of a daughter himself, Prodanovich could give no explanation for his offending, telling a psychiatrist it was a ‘brain fade’.
His victim’s daughters faced him in court where they read out heart breaking impact statements on the devastating effects his attack had had on their mother.
‘I felt really fooled and betrayed,’ their mum wrote.
She told the court she now feared all men and was frightened to be treated by any male nurse or doctor.
She feared taxi drivers and criticised Omni-Care for its handling of her care.
‘I remember what happened and sometimes cry,’ she stated.
Barrister Ian Crisp said his client, Simon Prodanovich, had no explanation for his offending other than describing it as a ‘brain fade’
Simon Prodanovich’s victim (not pictured) is now too scared to be in the company of strange men. It has seen her go home too early from hospital and collapse at home alone
County Court of Victoria Judge Susan Pullen will hand down her sentence on Simon Prodanovich on Thursday. He is expected to get a jail term somewhere close to 10 years
Her daughters told the court their mum had been a strong, sociable and independent woman before the attack.
She had ‘taken a leap of faith’ in accepting carers into her home and she no longer had the trust for them that had taken seven years to build.
Since then, she had struggled to care for her husband, who needed to be placed in respite care.
‘Be very careful whom you let into your home and life,’ her daughter warned.
‘Mum must now live with this brutal and merciless touch,’ another said.
Barrister Ian Crisp, for Prodanovich, said his client was ‘ashamed and sorrowful’ for what he did to the woman.
‘He’s too ashamed to ever explain what he did,’ he said.
County Court Judge Susan Pullen was scathing in her assessment of his client.
‘Your own expert described it as despicable,’ she said. ‘It’s downright grubby … What we’re dealing with here is absolutely appalling. It’s effectively wrecked her life.’
Judge Pullen further condemned Prodanovich for his earlier denials before DNA caught him out.
‘He was gonna give it a run,’ she said. ‘And then after his denials he makes a self-serving statement.’
Judge Pullen said there were numerous aggravating factors, including the fact he was her carer and breached the trust of his victim and her husband.
‘There is no doubt the impact has been enormous,’ she said.
Mr Crisp argued that Prodanovich’s attack had been unplanned and opportunistic.
‘It was on the spur of the moment,’ he argued.
But Judge Pullen questioned that, observing his client had wheeled his victim’s husband out of the room and licked his fingers.
‘There’s just no explanation,’ she said.
Judge Pullen remanded Prodanovich in custody in anticipation of sentencing him on Thursday.