Caregiver arrested after footage showed her striking 91-year-old Costa Mesa woman 150 times

Rima Abikaram, 50, of Fullerton
Rima Abikaram, 50, of Fullerton, was arrested Sept. 1 on suspicion of elder abuse after video footage showed her repeatedly striking a 91-year-old Costa Mesa woman left in her care.
(Courtesy of the Costa Mesa Police Department)

Costa Mesa Police Department officers on Tuesday arrested a caregiver on suspicion of elder abuse after she was allegedly captured on surveillance video repeatedly beating a 91-year-old Costa Mesa woman left in her care.

Rima Abikaram, 50, of Fullerton was a friend of the family in 2015, when she was hired to provide in-home care for the elderly woman, who was confined to a medical bed, according to a release issued Thursday by the police department.

Another caregiver for the woman reportedly became concerned for the patient after noticing she appeared to have sustained visible injuries and shared her concerns with the victim’s family, the release stated.

“The family subsequently installed a hidden camera in Jane Doe’s room to monitor the victim’s care,” the release continued. “Ultimately, the hidden camera revealed Abikaram abusing and striking the victim.”

Upon police review, it was found that the suspect had struck the elderly woman over 150 times in a four-day period.

Abikaram — whose Facebook page lists her surname as Abi Karam and her hometown as Beirut, Lebanon — was terminated from the position on Aug. 18, at which time the victim’s family called the Costa Mesa Police Department to file a report of elder abuse.

Officers investigated the incident and reviewed the camera footage, as well as the elderly woman’s medical records. Records showed she suffered from facial swelling, a black eye and a laceration to her arm.

On Tuesday, Abikaram was located in her home and arrested without incident, according to the report. The case has been turned over to the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Baha Eldin of the DA’s office said Friday charges had not yet been filed against Abikaram.

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