SOUTHAMPTON — A hired caretaker for a disabled 16-year-girl who cannot speak has been charged with sexually assaulting her.

Edmondo DiPaolo, 33, of Pemberton, cared for the girl, who needs a wheelchair, twice a week for the past seven months. He was employed by Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services.

Police were called by the teen's family when they noticed an injury to her leg that turned out to be a femur bone that DiPaolo had broken while adjusting her body before sexually assaulting her, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said Wednesday.

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The girl has a degenerative brain disorder and is fed and medicated through tubes, according to Coffina.

DiPaolo was charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree attempted aggravated assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He is being held at the Burlington County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Coffina asked anyone who suspects DiPaolo may have mistreated another patient to call State Police at 609-859-2282.

Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services did not immediately return a message on Wednesday afternoon.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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