YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Prosecutors are recommending a year in prison for a Warren man who pleaded guilty to a charge he abused a teen with autism in his care.
Defense attorneys are expected to argue for a lesser sentence for Sultahn Honzu, 19, who entered a plea in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court before Judge Anthony D’Apolito to a charge of assault, a fourth-degree felony.
Sentencing is set for April 20.
As part of his plea, prosecutors are also recommending that Honzu be placed on a list of people convicted of abusing patients.
Another defendant in the case, George Gunther, 20, also of Warren, is scheduled to have a pretrial hearing Thursday in his case.
The two, along with the company they worked for, Penny’s Behavioral Healthcare of Hubbard, were indicted in November by a grand jury on charges of patient abuse or neglect and assault.
Honzu and Davis both worked for Penny’s, which provides home health care to people with developmental difficulties.
Honzu and Gunther were allegedly caught on tape abusing a 16-year-old teen with autism. The boy’s father suspected abuse so he set up cameras in the boy’s room, which reportedly caught Honzu and Gunther throwing the boy around and hitting them.
The tapes were then given to Austintown police, who filed charges after an investigation. The two were hired by the company even though they had no experience.
The case was bound over to a grand jury after an Oct. 26 after a preliminary hearing in Mahoning County Area Court in Austintown. Warrants for Honzu and Gunther were filed Aug. 12 in county court, according to court records.
Efforts to reach the Hubbard address listed for the company were unsuccessful. An internet search of the address instead turned up a realty listing for a home.
A March 9 pretrial hearing has been set for attorneys representing Penny’s Behavioral Healthcare.