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Forum News Service, Published April 07 2014

Nursing home rapist, victim reach settlement

DULUTH – The Duluth man who raped an 89-year-old resident of the Edgewood Vista independent living facility in Hermantown, where he worked as a certified nursing assistant, has agreed to a settlement with the victim.

Court records show that 30-year-old Andrew Scott Merzwski agreed last month to a $10 million judgment in a civil lawsuit filed by the victim and her family. But, thanks to a unique agreement with the plaintiffs, he will not be responsible for paying the substantial sum, unless he violates one of several agreed-upon terms of the settlement.

Merzwski signed a confession of judgment and stipulation March 21, agreeing to the facts alleged by the plaintiffs and authorizing the judgment.

The agreement requires Merzwski to pay the victim previously court-ordered restitution of $1,063.80, and make a matching donation to the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault. He also cannot be convicted of criminal sexual conduct again, or be convicted or found liable in any claims of abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult.

Should Merzwski fully comply with the conditions, the victim and her family will not renew the judgment when it expires in 10 years. She also agreed to drop the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled in the future.