Alleged U.S. sex offender hired to care for B.C. boy
B.C. community services organization paid Russel Torralba $175 a day
A U.S. nurse accused of having sex with another man in front of a California stroke patient was paid $175 a day to care for a severely disabled B.C. boy.
New details emerged at Torralba's detention hearing before Canada's Immigration and Refugee Tribunal Monday.
Documents found at the south Vancouver house where Russel Olvena Torralba was arrested show that a B.C. community services organization was paying the fugitive $175 a day — a job he claimed to have taken over from his cousin.
I can assure you we have very thorough standards that set out how foster homes, group homes and contracted resources are assessed and approved. Standards and policy are only useful, however, when they are followed.- Children and Families Minister Stephanie Cadieux
At the time of his arrest last week, Torralba told an investigator he'd been caring for the eight-year-old boy since early December and was cooking, bathing and handling medicine for the child, who is severely disabled from fetal alcohol syndrome.
Marin Debruyn, counsel for the Minister of Immigration, testified to the child's fragility at Torralba's first detention hearing a week ago.
"The person he ended up working with is a person who is very vulnerable and unable to communicate in any meaningful way," said Debruyn, who added that officials with the Ministry of Children and Families had expressed concern about the type of care given by Torralba.
Wanted in California
Torralba has been charged in California with elder neglect and committing a lewd act upon a dependent adult.
The charges stem from a shocking incident caught on video in which Torralba and another nurse were allegedly seen fondling each other while touching a 98-year-old stroke victim who lay helpless in the bed beside them. The pair were hired by the woman's family to work in her home.
Torralba's nursing licence was revoked after other allegations arose around the neglect of several seniors in a care home he ran.
The B.C. Ministry of Children and Families sent an observer to Monday's immigration hearing and Minister Stephanie Cadieux issued a written statement Monday afternoon saying the incident is under review.
"I can assure you we have very thorough standards that set out how foster homes, group homes and contracted resources are assessed and approved," the minister said.
"Standards and policy are only useful, however, when they are followed," she said. "When circumstances come to our attention suggesting standards haven't been followed, the ministry reviews those circumstances thoroughly."
Torralba has now been handed an exclusion order that bars his admission to Canada.
Officials may seek his deportation next month.
With files from the CBC's Jason Proctor