Dehydration, emaciation: 3 convicted of abusing severely disabled adults at Riverside facility

A police chief in uniform.
Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez called the abuse “essentially a form of human trafficking of our elderly.”
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Three people were convicted Monday of elder and dependent adult abuse that left residents of an unlicensed board-and-care facility in Riverside “emaciated and dehydrated,” California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta announced Tuesday.

Joel Ombao, Ronnel Tiburcio and Nimfa Molina were convicted after a trial that began in early June.

“The victims in this case suffered horrific neglect and lack of care at the hands of those who were trusted with their well-being,” Bonta said in a statement. “Let today’s conviction serve as a warning: We will not allow those who abuse California’s most vulnerable adults to get away with their despicable crimes.”


The six “severely disabled” victims ranged from 32 to 66 years old.

The charges stemmed from a Riverside police and California Department of Justice investigation into Secure Hands, one of several hospice companies that Ombao owned and operated, in 2015. Tiburcio was an assistant to Ombao and Molina, a registered nurse.

The indictment alleges that Trump pursued discounting legitimate votes and subverting the 2020 presidential election results through three criminal conspiracies.

Aug. 1, 2023

“Investigators arrived at the location to find the residents being housed in squalor,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. “Many of them were emaciated and dehydrated and were not being provided the care they needed.”

The facility did not have sufficient staff or equipment to care for the residents, the attorney general’s office said.

In a statement, Riverside Police Chief Larry Gonzalez called the abuse “essentially a form of human trafficking of our elderly.”

“To prey on the vulnerable deserves nothing less than the harshest consequences available,” Gonzalez said.

Ombao faces up to seven years in prison and Tiburcio faces up to nine.

Molina could spend up to six months in county jail.

They are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 25.