Docs: Anderson healthcare worker pulled hair, flicked face of disabled teen

(Provided Photo/Madison County Sheriff's Office)

ANDERSON, Ind. (WISH) — Court documents say an in-home healthcare worker in Anderson pulled a disabled 17-year-old’s hair, flicked her in the face and slammed her head into a bed.

Prosecutors charged Maretta Hostetler Tuesday with three counts of battery.

The victim’s mother won’t share her name but she will share her story. To protect her and her daughters’ identities, 24-Hour News 8 will call her “Jane.”

Since the 1970s, Jane has adopted severely disabled kids. She is currently a mom to three adopted children, the youngest being 17. All of them are unable to speak or move without help.

“Those kids have been through enough,” Jane said from her Anderson home. “It really bothered me. I saw [my daughter] hurting.”

Court documents said Hostetler worked as an in-home nurse for Lifestyles Homecare. She took care of Jane’s kids when Jane was asleep or away.

Last month, Jane noticed bruises on her 17-year-old’s face so she called Hostetler’s boss. With Jane’s permission, the company hid a nanny cam in Jane’s home without telling Hostetler.

“This wasn’t just a, ‘no, you don’t do that.’ It was a major thing,” Jane said. “After seeing the films, I want her to get all they can give her.”

Jane can’t bring herself to describe what she saw.

Prosecutors won’t release the video but, according to court documents, Hostetler flicked the 17-year-old in the nose, pulled her hair, slammed her head into a bed, slapped her in the face, forcefully dropped her onto the bed and smoked an E-Cigarette while preparing a feeding tube.

Detectives said all of that happened between April 20 and April 22. A Madison County Sheriff’s detective said the girl can be heard crying in pain and the slaps and flicks are also heard on camera.

“We put [the cameras] in there just in time, I think, because it was really worse than anything we had thought,” Jane said.

Police showed the video to Hostetler and she still denied slapping the girl, court documents said.

She said her E-Cigarette doesn’t let off smoke, she doesn’t remember why she touched the girl’s face, and she wasn’t pulling the girl’s hair but positioning her head.

Detectives said Hostetler started to cry and described the girls as “her own.”

“I always try to find the good and I know [Hostetler] has a good side because I’ve been able to communicate with her through the months,” Jane said.

Jane said her 17-year-old’s bruises are fading and the girl finally smiled again Monday.

“I was shocked,” she said. “I think I’ll have a permanent nanny cam.”

The owner of Lifestyles Homecare said she won’t comment until the investigation is complete. She told police she never got a complaint about Hostetler before Jane’s complaint.

The county prosecutor said Lifestyles Homecare is cooperating with his office.

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