A 36-year-old Pemberton Township man pleaded guilty to abusing a severely developmentally-impaired girl while he worked as an in-home caretaker for her, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Friday.

Edmondo DiPaolo, 36, worked for seven months in his 16-year-old victim’s family’s Southampton home through an agency called Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services, Inc.

His victim suffered from a severe neurological disorder that made her immobile. She has since died of causes unrelated to the abuse, but while DiPaolo worked in the home, she was unable to speak, was partially blind and received food and medicine through tubes.

The family contacted police after DiPaolo broke the girl’s leg while changing her diaper.

Police reviewed almost 200 hours of security camera footage, which revealed further abuse such as forcing water down her throat and a stuffed animal in her mouth despite her inability to swallow.

The company that placed DiPaolo in the home did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Police initially charged him with sexually abusing the child in March 2020. Prosecutors added aggravated assault and child endangerment charges a year later as authorities reviewed more footage.

On Sept. 16, DiPaolo pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child as part of a plea deal for a 23-year prison sentence.

Original Article