Gary group home owner facing more charges

2013-10-23T19:30:00Z 2013-10-23T21:56:05Z Gary group home owner facing more chargesTimes Staff
October 23, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A Gary group home owner charged earlier this year with eight felony counts alleging abuse is facing additional charges involving welfare fraud.

The Lake County prosecutor's office in May charged the operators of Gracie's Tender Loving Care shelters with neglecting and abusing several residents.

Gracie L. Hathaway, 40, and Eldon S. Johnson, 43, identified in court papers as Hathaway's boyfriend, were named in the initial charges.

Hathaway last week also was charged with a single felony count of welfare fraud and eight felony counts of theft, all related to the collection of Social Security and disability benefits from the group home residents.

Court documents identify Hathaway as the owner of group homes near 39th Avenue and Mississippi Street, at 200 Gerry St. and near 42nd Avenue and Tennessee Street in Gary and a fourth home at 58th Place in Merrillville.

Hathaway and Johnson are alleged to have virtually imprisoned about a dozen residents of the group homes behind locked doors, at times without any supervision. Johnson is accused of attacking residents with a stun gun.

Hathaway and Johnson also are charged with neglect, criminal confinement and battery of one resident, 60-year-old John Woodley, who died March 1.

Woodley was removed from one of Gracie's Tender Loving Care homes in early January after being found unconscious and with a low body temperature. Blunt head trauma was listed as one of the causes of his death.

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