Ex-Kane Careworker Charged With Photographing Residents

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Dravosburg woman who worked as a practical nurse at McKeesport's Kane nursing center has been charged with taking photos of patients without their consent.

Allegheny County police allege the photos were taken to "humiliate" the patients.

Ashley A. Smith, 30, was arrested Friday and charged by county police with 16 counts of neglect of a care-dependent person, four counts each of criminal use of a communications facility, invasion of privacy and sending lewd photos, and one count of possession and dissemination of child pornography.

Court officials said Friday night that Smith is free on $50,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing May 13 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi.

According to a criminal complaint, Allegheny County police allege that Smith, who worked as a licensed practical nurse at Kane Community Living Center in McKeesport, took photos of 17 patients without their consent and sent them to a former co-worker.

The incidents allegedly occured between May 2017 and August 2018, police said.

Police began investigating Smith in early April after a former co-worker whom Smith had been dating reported the photos to county officials, according to the affidavit.

Detectives examined Smith's cell phone and also discovered two photos of a naked 2-year-old girl, according to the affidavit.

Some of the photos depicted patients in distress, police allege, and at least one showed a medical procedure being performed. State records indicate that Smith is a licensed practical nurse and do not show any previous disciplinary actions.

A spokesperson said Smith was suspended without pay when the photos were discovered, and then fired on May 1.

The victims and their families have been notified, the spokesperson said.

Originally published May 03, 2019.

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