Care center abuse case heads to court

"A trial date has been set for former Port Orchard Care Center employee Honey R. Luce, who faces two charges of fourth-degree assault in the alleged abuse of two nursing home employees.Luce, 25, waived her right to a speedy trial during a May 3 hearing in Kitsap County Superior Court and was given a June 19 trial date. Judge James Riehl is scheduled to preside.That gives Luce and her South Kitsap attorney, John L. Cross, about a month to pull together a defense.Fourth-degree assault is a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum punishment of one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. According to charging papers, the county prosecutor says Luce physically and sexually abused two nursing home employees during her employment there. The court ordered Luce not to make contact with these two employees, and she isn't allowed at the Port Orchard Care Center facility.One alleged victim claims Luce bit and pinched her breasts, locked her in a closet and shoved her against doors and walls betwen April and September 1999.Another alleged victim claims Luce also shoved her against doors and walls, and actually saw her smack residents in the forehead and flick their ears, according to charging papers. In another case, the second victim claimed Luce grabbed the arm of a resident, who yelled in pain. These incidents allegedly occured during summer 1999 and continued for some six months.Cross, Luce's attorney, couldn't be reached for comment.Luce worked as a certified nursing assistant at the nursing home from fall 1998 to this January and was originally arrested in March on suspicion of taking indecent liberties with 21 victims at the facility, including residents and co-workers. She was also arrested on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment - authorities believed she allegedly locked at least one victim in a closet - and fourth-degree assault. Luce was released on $11,000 bail shortly after her arrest."

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