Michael Gilbert is a registered sex offender convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child (12 year old female) and was released from parole in August 2005. (He was also on federal parole for issuing “false distress signals” – he was apparently trying to fake his own death at sea in an attempt to escape his sex offender status.)
Two months later, Gilbert was hired by Comfort Keepers as a non-medical caregiver, a “sitter”, in an Alzheimer’s care unit on October 23, 2005. Comfort Keepers ran a “national” criminal background check from CBCInnovis that failed to disclose his criminal history or his sex offender registration.
On November 7, 2005, two weeks after Gilbert was hired, a 77-year-old resident identified him as the man who raped her. He faced no criminal charges in this case, apparently due to the Alzheimer patient’s unreliability as a witness.
The family did sue Comfort Keepers and the Alzheimer’s care facility, and CBCInnovis. The civil case resulting from these allegations was settled April 8, 2009 – terms not disclosed.
It is hard to explain how so many people and businesses, who are charged with the responsibility of protecting and safeguarding our elderly, could all fail to do their jobs in such a negligent and grossly negligent manner that a known sexual predator such as Michael Henderson a.k.a Michael Anthony Gilbert could be allowed to molest and abuse a poor, defenseless 77 year old grandmother like Colleen Stagner, but that is what happened in this case. Not only were Defendants being paid to care for and protect innocent, foreseeable victims like Colleen from being sexually assaulted, they actually interviewed, hired, and placed a registered sex offender in a position to enable him to carry out these outrageous acts of physical and sexual abuse.
According to court documents, which include a copy of Gilbert’s employment application, Gilbert responded to the criminal history question on the application with “will discuss in interview.”
I always advise employers to respond “No, we won’t” and move on to the next applicant when an applicant fails to fully respond to questions on the employment application. In this case, however, Comfort Keepers interviewed Gilbert and made the following notation on the application: “Michael discussed that this was something minor that happened over 12 years ago – not on criminal record.”
Obviously Gilbert lied and the “national” criminal background check failed to catch the lie.
The fact is that there is no such thing as a “national” or “nationwide” criminal records database that has any level of reliability. The only way to obtain a criminal history on an individual that approaches reliable is to search the county, state, and federal records in each jurisdiction where the person has lived, worked, or attended school. The “national” database (Imperative Information Group prefers to call it a multi-jurisdictional criminal records database) should be used only as a source of possible records – not relied upon as the primary source of records.
In April 2011, authorities say Gilbert attempted to avoid arrest in another sexual assault by again faking his own death. He is accused of fatally shooting a homeless man, putting the body in his car’s trunk and setting the car ablaze, hoping police would think that the body was his. He is currently being prosecuted. Hopefully, he won’t see daylight for a long, long time.