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Caregiver gets two years for abuse of elderly woman
By Barbara Vitello | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/4/2009 12:06 AM

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Stefania Lisowska was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison for abusing a 60-year-old woman in her care last year outside the woman's Inverness home,

Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta sentenced the 52-year-old former live-in caregiver as part of an agreement in which she pleaded guilty to events one day last June in the victim's back yard in the 1900 block of Abbottsford Drive in Inverness. The Class 3 felony carries a potential sentence of two to five years.

Lead defense attorney Ralph Meczyk characterized his client as a domestic with no medical training who took over caring for the woman - who suffers from dementia - about 21/2 years ago at the behest of the woman's husband. Meczyk described Lisowska as "very devoted" to the woman. But on that day, she just snapped, he said.

Lisowska has appeared visibly upset and tearful at previous court appearances and today was no exception. She stood before Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta wringing her hands as Assistant State's Attorney Sherie DeDore described the abuse. Neighbors reported seeing the defendant hosing down the naked victim as she sat in a lawn chair, said DeDore. They also said Lisowska struck the victim in the face with the hose's metal nozzle and later attempted to hit the victim with a mop or broom, DeDore said.

Police arrived to find Lisowska inside the house, refusing to open the sliding glass doors for the woman. They also noted old bruises on the woman's body and red marks on her face.

Later at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Lisowska admitted to police through a Polish interpreter that she had hosed the woman off, but denied striking her face.

"Your lawyers did a great job for you," said Fecarotta, noting that Lisowska would have faced a longer prison term had the victim's injuries been more severe.

Because she received credit for the 260 days she has spent in Cook County Jail awaiting trial, Lisowska could be released within days, Meczyk said.