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Prosecutors admit mistakes in case of nurse who tied up disabled patient

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SEATTLE -- King County prosecutors admit mistakes were made in how they handled a case involving a nurse who tied up a disabled man.

Prosecutors say photos of 23-year-old Matthew Schwed were not immediately turned over to Seattle police. The pictures first surfaced after the nurse's husband was arrested for domestic abuse.

They say there was a delay in contacting police because they thought the images were altered. So Matthew's parents say he remained in the nurse's care.

"As terrible as it was that we didn't turn it over within that month period of time -- turn those photographs over -- at the same time, as soon as we learned of it we immediately apologized to the family, we immediately turned it over to law enforcement, and law enforcement began their investigation," said Erin Ehlert of the King County Prosecutor's Office.

Robin Johnson accepted a deal from prosecutors and pleaded guilty to attempted unlawful imprisonment on Friday. She was sentenced only to probation and community service.

Seattle police said Robin Johnson admitted to tying up Matthew while she was his in-home nurse.

Schwed requires constant care and is unable to speak. His parents, Doug and Mary Schwed, allowed Johnson to take their son to her home during the day. She worked for the family for over a year and a half.

According to court documents, Johnson would play with her own kids but did not want Matthew anywhere near them.

"It is said that the measure of society is how it treats its weakest members," said Mary Schwed. "Our society, our community should be outraged."

Matthew's parents say Johnson should have received a harsher sentence and are upset that she is still allowed to keep her nursing license.

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10 comments

  • Donna

    The system fails again!! Our special needs children have no voice, no support. Shame on the system for failing to make this right by the child she abused!!

  • John Nap

    Her nursing license should be revoked and not allowed to work in the health profession no longer. She is a professional who should be held to a higher standard. No MERCY for individuals who heart children and disabled persons.

  • Angela

    Robin is my x sister in law and still remains evil by keeping my nephews away from all of our family even before all this went down. She has allowed my nephews to feel abandoned by the ones who love them so deeply. As always, only looking out for number one, herself and always a victim. A very selfish human being who doesn’t deserve to be a mother!

  • Angela

    I actually take my comment back, I will pray for those who have so much hatred and selfishness in their heart and I only hope and pray my nephews can have a good life in spite of all this. There is enough evil and hatefullness in this world without me adding to it. I should not let my emotions get the best of me.