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FORMER NURSING HOME MANAGER PLEADS NO CONTEST IN ABUSE CASE

A former Provo nursing home administrator pleaded no contest this week in 4th Circuit Court to a reduced charge of abusing a disabled person.

Kim Bunce, 44, entered the plea on the Class B misdemeanor Monday before Judge Ray M. Harding Jr. Another charge of abusing a disabled person was dismissed. He will be sentenced July 15.Bunce formerly managed Sunset Retirement Care Center. City investigators allege that Bunce beat a patient on Jan. 6, 1995. Following the incident he was placed on leave by the center's owner, who was his mother. The facility has since been sold and is now operating under different management.

In May 1987, a 4th District jury convicted Bunce of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. Judge Ray M. Harding Sr. reduced the charge to a third-degree felony and Bunce was sentenced to 30 days in jail. The conviction was never reported to the Utah Department of Professional Licensing as required by state nursing laws.

State records show Bunce received his nursing license in 1974 and his health-care administrator's license in 1977. State licensing officials said Wednesday that Bunce is still licensed as a health-care administrator and practical nurse. However, state investigators could petition the State Board of Licensing and request a hearing to review Bunce's license.