Rocca works to protect senior citizens from abuse

LANSING, Mich.—Legislation introduced by Sen. Tory Rocca that will protect Michigan’s senior citizens and strengthen penalties for those convicted of abusing them was approved by the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee this week.

“Too many of our vulnerable senior citizens suffer unconscionable acts of physical and financial abuse, and we are acting to stop it,” said Rocca, R-Sterling Heights, sponsor of Senate Bill 455. “These measures will better protect the elderly and increase penalties for the criminals who prey upon them.”

Rocca’s bill creates tough, new penalties for felonious embezzlement against a vulnerable adult. Criminals found guilty of that crime would be punished by up to 20 years in prison if the measure becomes law. The senior protection package also revises a prohibition against fraudulently obtaining a signature.

The abuse of elders is a problem that has affected nearly 80,000 senior citizens in Michigan.

Senate Bills 455, 459 and 465 now go to the full Senate for further consideration.