Rosemary Baugh, the 57-year-old woman who pleaded no contest to bilking 80-year-old David Dahan — a wealthy businessperson now suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s — out of more than $700,000, was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay a $500,000 fine, make restitution for an amount to be worked out in a later trial, undergo mental-health treatment, and stay away from Dahan’s residence. Baugh, who showed up in court pushing a walker and wearing a white, full-length dress and white pumps, is not facing jail time, because of a plea deal worked out at the urging of the victim’s family. That deal proved sufficiently controversial that a prior judge rejected it. Even so, Baugh’s attorney — Mark Saatjian — asked that the fine be reduced, noting that Adult Protective Services (APS) had interviewed the victim and found him to be “desirous” of maintaining the relationship that Baugh claimed lasted off and on for 27 years. Prosecuting attorney Brian Cota insisted that Baugh pay the full fine. “She should get every form of punishment we can give her,” he said.
Baugh maintained that she and Dahan were lovers and that in recent years she served as his caretaker, as well. She said he wanted to take care of her after he died by providing her a mobile home. Family members, she said, objected, worried their inheritance might be at risk. Cota said Baugh’s life has been characterized by “sloth and greed” and disputed there was any evidence indicating the relationship was anything but casual. Likewise, he questioned the medical qualifications of the Adult Protective Service worker to render an opinion about Dahan’s mental state. Dahan was diagnosed with dementia in 2011; the APS interview took place in 2012. And in January 2013, Baugh and Dahan were married. Ten days later, Baugh filed for divorce, effectively clouding the resolution of Dahan’s considerable estate. Outside the courthouse, Baugh declined to discuss the case other than to indicate she plans to write about it, possibly in screenplay form, someday.