Teo-Valentin Todorovits, from Cheltenham, targeted an unknown number of “helpless” victims over three years while they were under his care, with many suffering from dementia or mental disorders and unable to report his behaviour.
He was eventually caught after a used condom was found in the corridor of his workplace, and later pleaded guilty to 12 charges of rape, sexual assault, voyeurism and neglect.
Only two of his victims have been identified after Todorovits took pictures and videos of his assaults, with their families left “devastated” by the “gross abuse of trust”.
The Independent first revealed Todorovits horrific crimes earlier this year and that three police officers are under investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct due to allegations they failed to investigate initial reports of rape and sexual assault.
Appearing this week at Chelmsford Crown Court, the 23-year-old was jailed for 24 years for his “shocking, vile and depraved” crimes, and will serve an additional six years on extended licence.
“I have no doubt in my mind he targeted people he knew would have no ability to stop him or to report him,” Judge Christopher Morgan said.
The court heard that Todorovits was employed at the first care home, which cannot be named for legal reasons, from June 2020 until April 2021, where he sexually abused seven elderly residents.
His actions first came to light in March 2021, when staff at the first care home discovered a used condom in the corridor.
“That discovery was plainly unusual, to say the least, and of immediate concern to staff,” said prosecutor Stephen Rose KC.
“Police were informed and the investigation led to members of staff providing elimination DNA samples. His sample was found to match the DNA profile inside the condom,” he said.
However, Torovits was not caught until October 2022, when officers arrested him at Luton airport, by which point he had been employed as a carer at a second care home for six months. During that period, he continued to sexually abuse and film a number of unidentified elderly women.
Videos and images found on his phone included the naked genitals and lower regions of vulnerable women, with one resident being made to eat soil and plant vegetation. Police also discovered videos of him making abusive gestures towards his victims, as well as pulling down their underwear and touching their breasts.
When first interviewed by police, Todorovits denied sexually abusing his patients and claimed that the condom had been planted by “someone else that was trying to get him into trouble”.
However, in further interviews in November 2022, he admitted sexually touching a number of elderly women for his own sexual gratification and raping one of his victims.
Listing the aggravating features, Mr Rose said: “We note the dementia or presumed dementia of each victim, rendering them unlikely to protest, defend or report his behaviour.
“They were helpless in the hands of this defendant. We note the advanced age, mental and physical frailty and the dependency of the victims on the staff at the care home, of which the defendant was one of them.”
One of the victim’s families told the court that since being abused, her loved one is now “angry, fearful and flinches”, and has become wary of both male staff members and residents.
“The guilt is unbearable,” one relative said. “She asked for help and we thought it was the dementia. This is why you preyed on her, because she couldn’t tell. You are sick.”
“The families find it impossible to comprehend that anyone could treat their loved ones in the fashion that has been described in this case,” the judge said.
“The consequences of them being told of the sexual abuse is devastating. The added impact for both of these families is that their loved family members were placed into the care of these homes.”
Prior to his guilty pleas, Todorovits had no previous convictions either in the UK or abroad.
Speaking in his defence, Mitchell Cohen said: “I have no instructions and do not intend to mitigate the offending, there is no mitigating of the offending whatsoever. If there is mitigation, it is this – his age and his engagement with the court process.”
He continued: “He is unable to offer any explanation as to why he did this. He does not wish to excuse what he did.”
Noting that he presented a “significant risk” to the public with his “cruel and depraved behaviour”, the judge said: “It’s a gross abuse of trust as in this case, the abuse has extended beyond the care of the victims. He was trusted by his employer, his fellow employees and the families of the victims.”
Todorovits has also been made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, with conditions preventing him from seeking employment with those who would be vulnerable to his sexual activity.
In a statement to The Independent, the local police force said: “Today marks the culmination of an incredibly difficult investigation into the actions of Teo Todorovits; incredibly difficult for the victims, their families, the care homes where the incidents took place and for the officers who have been involved.
“Whilst we know that no sentence can make up for his deplorable and predatory behaviour, we hope it is of some comfort to the victims and their families and friends that Todorovits will be in prison for a significant amount of time.”
The IPOC served gross misconduct notices to a police constable and detective inspector and a misconduct notice to a detective sergeant in November 2022.
The police said it has remained in close contact with the IPOC over its investigation, which is yet to conclude.
A CQC spokesperson said it was alerted to allegations against Todorovits in August 2021 at the first home where he committed his “horrific” crimes.
The regulator said while the police started its investigation it carried out its own enquiries about the home and continued to monitor it but that the police subsequently closed their investigation.
The CQC then said it was informed police had reopened the case in late 2022 and so it carried out an inspection of the first home following which no sanctions were given.
The watchdog carried out an unannounced inspection of the second care home in August 2022 due to concerns about the safety of residents and leadership of the service and rated it “requires improvement”.