Attorney: Former Greene Valley employee “good, hard-working young lady”

GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – The former Greene Valley Developmental Center employee who reportedly slapped a woman in the face with a shoe pleaded not guilty during her first court appearance today.

A Greene County judge set 21-year-old Alysia Ann Prater’s trial for January 9. She’s charged with felony abuse of a dependent adult. Her attorney says based on what he knows so far, they intend to fight the criminal charge.

“We’ll be meeting with the DA in a couple weeks and try to figure out the details of what allegedly has happened and make some decisions from there,” her attorney Tom Jessee said. “From what I know today, I suspect it will go to trial in January as planned.”

Our Community Watchdog investigation into the handling of past abuse cases at Greene Valley, a state-run facility, prompted the criminal charge.

Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities records show Prater reportedly slapped a middle-aged woman, who suffered from bipolar disorder, in the face with a shoe in December 2014. According to DIDD’s internal investigation, which substantiated physical abuse, the alleged victim could not communicate verbally.

Public records also revealed witnesses said Prater smacked the woman so hard it made a loud noise and knocked her head back, leaving a noticeable mark in the process. At the time, Prater denied the allegations and resigned from her job as developmental technician.

Prater now lives in South Carolina. She is free on bond.

“I’ve known her family for a very long time,” Jessee said. “Her dad and her grandmother are very good people. She’s a very good, hard-working young lady and I hope we can get this resolved.”

Copyright WJHL 2016. All rights reserved.

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