Family of allegedly abused grandmother wants Filipino nurses jailed

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Relieved. That’s how lawyer William Berman described how his clients feel, after Russel Torralba was arrested and deported from Canada.

Torralba, along with another Filipino, Alfredo Ruiz, had been accused of sexually abusing their 98-year old stroke patient back in 2011.

Suspecting that the stroke patient was not being cared for properly by the two nurses, the family installed surveillance cameras in the room. To their shock and horror, the images they saw allegedly showed Torralba and Ruiz fondling and kissing the bedridden grandmother, while they performed sex acts on each other.

Torralba eventually went to Canada where he was found to be caring for a disabled child before he was arrested earlier this month.

“My clients are very happy that Mr. Torralba was apprehended, that he is no longer responsible for the care and oversight of a young child in Canada. It was very troubling for them to learn information that he had fled the United States into Canada where he was put in charge to care for a severely impaired 7-year-old boy,” Berman said.

Berman said the family is continuing to monitor the case.

Prosecutors are still waiting for Torralba to be returned to San Diego to face criminal charges against him. He is currently being detained at Whatcom County Jail in Washington State, just south of the Canadian border.

Both Torralba and Ruiz have been charged with felony elder neglect and felony lewd conduct by a caregiver on a dependent adult.

“For my clients, the criminal victory is as important — if not more important than the civil recovery. For my clients, the criminal conviction and jail time for them would mean keeping these two individuals out of the home of others whom they could neglect or abuse,” Berman added.

The alleged victim is now 100-years old. A 2012 civil case awarded her a $1 million settlement. It also resulted in Ruiz and Torralba, both believed to be dual citizens of the U.S. and Philippines, having their nursing licenses revoked.

It also had the care home agency, which employed the two men, shut down. Though Berman believes it may have since reopened, under a different name and ownership.

Berman said after the traumatic experience, the family has become the caregivers themselves, using the funds they obtained from the civil suit to care for their mother and grandmother.

While prosecutors await Torralba’s return, Ruiz who has pleaded not guilty, remains free on bail.

You may contact Steve Angeles at for more information.

4 Comments on this post.

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  • Fernando Sacdalan
    28 January 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    If any person should be found guilty of such activity, they should be sent back to the country where they came from and put them in jail of that country. NEVER let them come back here.

  • JD
    28 January 2014 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    @Fernando Sacdalan if found guilty of such activity, I think they will spent time in jail here in America, than they will be deported back to the philippines, and can’t come back to America ! It is a shame to see things like that to happen in our home America, They should spent 20 years in jail in America before been deported back to philippines.

  • Romy Rosel
    29 January 2014 at 2:07 am - Reply

    For me, if found guilty and they really committed such a heinous, beastly and atrocious crime, they should rot in jail here in USA. Dito pa sila nagkalat sobrang nakakahiya ang ginawa nila. Disgusting !

  • Delia
    29 January 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

    This criminals should get the max 25 years in jail then deported after serving the sentence .