The volunteer, who assisted a woman running an illegal personal care business in 2015, had her charges dropped last year.
Delora Quarterman was not prosecuted for two counts of neglecting an elderly or disabled person after she allegedly left two disabled, elderly people stranded at a gas station in Atlanta in 2015.
The two people had been clients of an illegal personal care business, which had been operated by Lena Germaine Hurst Clark reportedly since 2001, according to a 2015 news release. Clark was arrested and faced 12 counts of neglect and 12 counts of exploitation of disabled adults.
It was alleged Clark ordered Quartmeran to leave the elderly people at the gas station, according to the report.
The charges against Quarterman were dropped in 2018 due to insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, the Superior Court of Rockdale County dropped the case as the court was unable to locate one of the victims, and the second victim did not want to participate in the prosecution of the case, according to the case report.
"I made a terrible mistake listening to the employer at the time that was operating illegally under false pretense," Quarterman said. "They hid from me what was going on with them when they hired me as an employee. They took advantage of my integrity. I did what the employer told me to do, and because of my empathy to help and serve others in the community, they took advantage of that. When I was hired, I had no idea what I had walked into. All I saw was a need to help the mentally disable, which I have dealt with daily in my family for quite some time."
She added, "My comment to caregivers, community volunteers, advocates and philanthropists is to go a little further in looking into the integrity of the businesses or organizations that serve ‘the least of these’ in communities before you involve yourself. I have never experienced anything like this, and it's easy to fall if you're empathetic when helping the mentally sick — or anyone for that matter — who can't fend for themselves.
"Even with all that has occurred, I still advocate for those with mental health challenges, but today I stick with the legal side of this process and law enforcement only."