Former Whiting Forensic employee Michael Presnick will not face any prison time if he stays out of trouble the next two years.
A judge granted what’s known as accelerated rehabilitation to the ninth former Whiting Forensic Hospital employee to appear in court.
Two years ago, as word of longtime patient Bill Shehadi’s abuse by caretakers at Whiting began to surface, investigators found video of Presnick laughing alongside co-workers as one put a soiled diaper on Shehadi, and another incident where Presnick abused Shehadi.
Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Doskos said Presnick was seen on surveillance “…spraying him in the face with an aerosol type spray, and then Mr. Shehadi is reacting by flailing his arms from the contact of the spray in a distressful manner.”
Presnick will get accelerated rehabilitation, which means no prison time as long as he stays out of trouble the next two years, a deal he got in part because he cooperated with the prosecution of his Whiting co-workers.
Shehadi’s brother Al agreed on no prison time for Presnick, with one condition.
“He is a nurse. And his actions disqualify him they run counter to everything that nurses are trained for, nurses are supposed to do, and should preclude him from ever working as a nurse again.”
The judge declined Shehadi’s request.
Presnick expressed remorse for what he did, apologizing to Shehadi’s brother.
"I believe I’ve learned from this situation and this process, and given the opportunity I would never allow for something like this to happen for anybody under my watch," he said.
Presnick does want to become a nurse again.
The state will still have to approve renewing his license.