A former health care worker who targeted disabled residents at a Beaver County residential facility was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.
Zachary Dinell, formerly of Freedom, abused at least 13 residents of McGuire Memorial, a residential medical facility outside New Brighton, according to federal prosecutors. He and another caseworker, Tyler Smith, sometimes recorded themselves abusing residents - punching, kicking and choking them.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Grand jury indicts 2 former Beaver County care facility employees on hate crime charges
On Thursday, Dinell was ordered by U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan to serve 17 years in a federal prison, according to Channel 11 news partner the Tribune-Review.
Dinell pleaded guilty in October to all 12 counts against him, including conspiracy and violating the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The federal charges against Smith are pending.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Former Beaver County health care worker pleads guilty to federal hate crime charges
The indictment accused the two men of purposely targeting the victims because they were disabled and could not defend themselves.
"These victims were non-verbal and thus unable to report the abuse against them," Cindy K. Chung, United States Attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania, previously said.
Investigators said Dinell and Smith took photos and videos of their attacks and celebrated their actions by texting one another, plotting who they could go after next and how "badly they had messed up" the residents.
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