Balfour assisted living employees face charges over false domestic violence allegations

Matt Bloom/CPR News
Balfour Senior Living’s Cherrywood Village facility in Louisville.

Three employees of a Balfour Senior Living facility in Louisville are facing criminal charges for falsely reporting a domestic violence incident that resulted in the arrest of an elderly man. 

Joshua Merrill, 34, and Kara Roberts, 33, are both charged with four counts each, including caretaker neglect, false reporting to authorities, elder abuse and attempts to influence a public servant.

Danizu Mosqueda, 31, is charged with falsely reporting mistreatment of an elder as a mandatory reporter. 

Merrill and Mosqueda were taken into custody this week and posted bond, according to court records. A warrant for Roberts’ arrest remains active. 

Balfour Senior Living did not respond to CPR News’ request for comment. 

Louisville Police Department officers responded to a call from Mosqueda of a domestic violence incident at Balfour’s Cherrywood Village facility on Jan. 10, according to an arrest affidavit. 

Merrill, a staff member, and Roberts, a contractor, both told officers they had witnessed the husband of a resident “smacking” his wife with his hand near the facility’s dining room. 

Mosqueda said she did not witness the incident, but heard about it from Merrill and Roberts. 

The wife, who has memory problems, told officers she could not recall being hit or anything about her husband’s visit that day, according to the affidavit. 

The Balfour employees told officers that there was video surveillance of the incident. Officers arrested the husband on domestic violence charges and took him to Boulder County Jail. 

Two weeks later, officers returned to Balfour to serve a search warrant for video of the alleged incident. 

During the visit, Mosqueda handed officers a USB drive with a file of video evidence. As she did, she informed officers that staffers had fabricated the entire domestic violence incident, the affidavit said. 

She didn’t inform police about the lie due to orders from her “VP of operations,” the affidavit said. The VP told her to wait until she was served a search warrant.

The footage Mosqueda gave to officers on the USB drive was “grainy” and “clearly a video taken of video surveillance footage playing on an unidentified monitor. The videos had no time stamps. 

After reviewing the footage, officers returned to the Balfour facility and requested to review surveillance footage in person. A review found no evidence of any “open hand smack” around the time employees said it happened. 

It’s unclear if charges against the resident’s husband were dropped once the false accusation was confirmed. The affidavits for all three employees leave out the names of the man and his wife. 

“It is an egregious and concerning case,” said Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty in a statement. “Our office is committed to reaching the right result for the true victims here.”

Merrill faces a court hearing on March 28. Mosqueda has yet to receive a court appearance date. 

The incident at Cherrywood Village comes as another Balfour facility in Louisville faces a wrongful death lawsuit. 

The family of 97-year-old Mary Jo Staub is seeking a trial against the company, which operates multiple locations across the Front Range. Staub, a resident, froze to death after locking herself outside of Balfour’s Lavender Farms Senior Living Facility in February 2022. 

Staff found her body on the ground near a set of glass paned doors adjacent to a vacant nurse station.