Caretaker Going to Trial for Alleged Abuse of Disabled Man

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HAWLEY -- Police say a caretaker from Tobyhanna burned his client with an iron, causing third degree burns.

That caretaker is now expected to face trial, but the caretaker's attorney says the police theory doesn't hold up.

Christopher Lein told Newswatch 16 he had no comment about the allegations and left district court with his family by his side.

During Lein's preliminary hearing in Hawley, police testified Lein burned a 53-year-old man with an iron three times.

The victim is mentally and physically disabled. He is cared for at the Keystone Community Resources Residential Facility near Gouldsboro.

Lein was one of three people caring for the man.

According to police, it was sometime during Lein's overnight shift from December 30 to December 31 at the facility, when Lein took a hot iron and burned the man on his stomach, shoulder and back.

Lein's former co-workers testified that Lein was the only one on duty that night.

One co-worker testified that she found the burn marks when she was helping the man take a shower. She told the court she normally helps bathe the man and the day before, the burn marks weren't there.

But the caretaker's attorney says there's more to that theory, based on evidence found on that iron.

"The interesting thing we learned today is there is unidentifiable DNA from a third-party, on the iron.  That's not something that's been disclosed to us before.  So we are going to have to look into that and see who that belongs to, if we can determine that," said Axel Jones, Lein's Attorney.

Christopher Lein is out on bail. He is charged with neglect and aggravated assault. He's expected to go to trial at a later date.