Kelvin Njeru appears in court for sentencing on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Kelvin Njeru appears in court for sentencing on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Ex-caregiver gets over 7 years for raping Everett woman with dementia

In September 2021, blood was found on a patient’s bed during Kelvin Njeru’s night shift.

EVERETT — A former caregiver at an Everett assisted living facility was sentenced this week for raping a resident with dementia.

Kelvin Njeru pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to indecent liberties with a vulnerable victim incapable of consent. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Cindy Larsen sentenced Njeru to 7½ years in prison.

On the morning of Sept. 7, 2021, an employee noticed blood on the bedding of an 81-year-old resident, according to felony charges filed in court. The employee also found a condom on the floor next to the bed. She immediately alerted her supervisor.

Blood had been found in her bed on two other occasions, in June and August 2021, court documents said.

The victim’s daughter, who spoke Vietnamese and could communicate with her, asked her if anything happened, according to court papers. She said she had no memory of anything, and she was taken to the hospital for a sexual assault examination.

The defendant and another male employee at the facility voluntarily provided DNA samples for analysis. The DNA profile from the lab results suggested “very strong support” the defendant was a contributor, according to the lab report written by forensic scientist Kate Zopolos.

Njeru had been working at the facility since January 2021, court papers said. Before then, he had worked at two other care homes in Bothell and Federal Way. Police discovered he was also the working the night shift on the two other occasions that blood was found on the bed.

Twenty-four other residents lived on the same floor as the victim at the time of the sexual assault in early September. Three were men, but detectives didn’t consider them suspects because of their own medical ailments, according to court papers.

The facility was also secured with a locked courtyard, and there were no signs of forced entry into the room.

Njeru was arrested in October 2021 and charged with second-degree rape.

The state Department of Health suspended Njeru’s license as a nursing assistant in November 2021. Records show his license has since been revoked.

Njeru had no previous felony convictions. Under state sentencing guidelines, the defendant faced 15 to 20 months in prison. Prosecutors and the defense both recommended an exceptional sentence that went above the standard range.

The longer sentence was agreed on because of the victim’s vulnerability and because she was under the defendant’s care.

In a letter written to the court, the victim’s daughter pleaded for a long sentence, and she said no other family should have to endure this kind of nightmare.

“I never wanted to put my mother in a home to begin with, I struggled for months about what was the best option,” she said. “It is not only not a part of my culture, but as a daughter I felt I was failing my mother.”

She wrote that the day she received the phone call from the nursing home’s manager about the assault was one of the most horrific days of her entire life.

Judge Larsen approved the plea deal Tuesday, saying the interests of justice were best served by a sentence above the standard range.

“You were entrusted to care for some of our most vulnerable citizens, and you shattered that trust,” the judge said.

In a statement to the court, Njeru spoke through a Swahili interpreter.

“That day I put something in my drink, so my mind was not clear,” he said. “I am asking for forgiveness, because I know when I came home from the job I didn’t remember if I did those kind of bad actions. I am so sorry for the entire family.”

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Members of South County Fire practice onboarding and offboarding a hovering Huey helicopter during an interagency disaster response training exercise at Arlington Municipal Airport on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. The crews learned about and practiced safe entry and exit protocols with crew from Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue before begin given a chance to do a live training. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish, King counties train together for region’s next disaster

Dozens of agencies worked with aviators Tuesday to coordinate a response to a simulated earthquake or tsunami.

Police stand along Linden Street next to orange cones marking pullet casings in a crime scene of a police involved shooting on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens man identified in Everett manhunt, deadly police shooting

Travis Hammons, 34, was killed by officers following a search for an armed wanted man in a north Everett neighborhood.

Ciscoe Morris, a longtime horticulturist and gardening expert, will speak at Sorticulture. (Photo provided by Sorticulture)
Get your Sorticulture on: Garden festival returns to downtown Everett

It’s a chance to shop, dance, get gardening tips, throw an axe and look through a big kaleidoscope. Admission is free.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lawsuit: Funko misled investors about Arizona move

A shareholder claims Funko’s decision to relocate its distribution center from Everett to Arizona was “disastrous.”

1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

Dolly Hunnicutt holds onto a metal raccoon cutout while looking through metal wildflowers at the Freeborn Metal Art booth during the first day of Sorticulture on Friday, June 9, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Sorticulture brings gardening galore, fun by the bushel at 130 booths

“Every year there’s something different to see,” one attendee said at the opening of the three-day festival in downtown Everett.

Alex Dold lived with his mother and grandmother, Ruby Virtue, near Echo Lake. His sisters, Vanessa and Jen Dold, often would visit to play board games and watch soccer on television.
Troubled deputies at center of $1.5M settlement in Maltby man’s death

In 2017, Bryson McGee and Cody McCoy killed Alex Dold with their Tasers. Neither of them work for the sheriff’s office anymore.

Most Read