Man accused of abducting woman with severe dementia inside Norfolk senior living facility

Posted at 4:06 PM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 16:06:52-05

NORFOLK, Va. - An elderly man accused of abduction during an incident that allegedly happened inside a senior living facility remains locked up in the Norfolk Jail.

71-year-old Jack Herbert Pearce, Jr. of Virginia Beach was arrested for an encounter that happened on January 29.

Jack Herbert Pearce, Jr.

Leaders at the Commonwealth Senior Living Leigh Hall said he was visiting a male who stays at the facility.

A search warrant states that the executive director of the facility contacted police about suspicious behavior.

It states surveillance video showed that Pearce allegedly grabbed the victim’s arm and pulled her toward the bathroom, then “pushed her from behind into the bathroom.”

It states they were inside for 12 minutes.

The warrant states a nurse saw the victim walk out of the bathroom, pulling up her pants with her diaper still down.

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The victim has severe dementia and is barely verbal and has no long-term or short-term memory, according to a search warrant.

Pearce was arrested on January 31.

Commonwealth Senior Living Leigh Hall provided the following statement about the alleged incident:

“An incident between a visitor and a resident at Leigh Hall in Norfolk occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 29, 2019. Staff at the community witnessed inappropriate activity, questioned the visitor, and contacted authorities and the resident’s family. We take very seriously any potentially inappropriate activity between a visitor and a resident of our community. Police and adult protective services were called and a report was later filed with the Virginia Department of Social Services.  An investigation into the incident has resulted in the arrest of the visitor. Commonwealth Senior Living is cooperating with authorities and will support prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Our sole mission is to care for our residents, and we will continue to proactively work to ensure the safety of our residents”

Pearce initially denied being in the bathroom with the victim, but once he was informed of the video he allegedly admitted to being in the bathroom with her and said they kissed, according to the search warrant.

On April 25, Pearce appeared in front of Norfolk General District Court, where one count of abduction with intent to defile was certified to a grand jury.

We requested an interview with him from jail, but he declined.