Authorities in Burlington County say a former home health aide has pleaded guilty to physically abusing a severely developmentally-impaired teenager while working as her caregiver in the family's home.

According to Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw, last week, 36-year-old Edmondo DiPaolo of Pemberton Township pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree aggravated assault and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child in exchange for a 23-year sentence in state prison.

Editor's note: the following details may be disturbing to some.

Bradshaw's office says the victim was 16 years old at the time and she suffered from a neurological disorder and was immobile. She was also partially blind, unable to speak, and received food and medication through tubes.

An investigation revealed that DiPaolo broke the victim's femur while changing her diaper in March 2020.

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Because of her condition, she was unable to swallow. It was further determined that he forced water into her mouth, as well as a small stuffed animal.

DiPaolo worked at the residence for seven months as an employee of Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services, Inc.

Officials say the victim has since passed away from causes unrelated to the abuse.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 18th.

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