A maintenance worker at an assisted-living facility in Albany, New York was fired and then arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a 91 year-old resident. Media coverage of the incident has indicated that the man is a registered sex offender with convictions from the 1980’s for rape and other offenses. The owner of the facility reportedly did not know about the maintenance worker’s criminal history or status as a sex offender. The incident also led to the termination of an administrator at the facility and demands by a county official for stricter background check requirements for adult home employees.
An employee at the Loudonville Home for Adults alleged that they witnessed a maintenance worker sexually abusing a 91 year-old female resident on November 30, 2012. The man had reportedly gone to the woman’s room to change a lightbulb, when the employee making the report saw him put his hands down the front of the woman’s shirt without her consent . The nursing home fired the maintenance worker immediately upon hearing of the alleged abuse.
The maintenance worker is a Level 3 sex offender, according to the Times Union. Under the risk levels assigned by the state of New York, Level 3 indicates the highest level of risk for repeat offenses and threats to public safety. The man was reportedly convicted in 1984 for the 1983 rape of a woman in Saratoga County. He spent sixteen years in prison until his parole in 2000. After his community supervision ended in 2008, he was hired at Loudonville.
Police arrested the maintenance worker on December 20, 2012 in connection with the alleged sexual abuse. He allegedly confessed to police after his arrest. He now faces charges for felony endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person and misdemeanor sexual abuse. As of mid-January 2013, he remained at the Albany County Jail, where law enforcement is holding him on $25,000 bond.
Several weeks after the alleged assault and the arrest, the adult home fired one of its administrators, reportedly for “failing to exercise appropriate judgment” based on the November 30 incident and other unidentified incidents. The administrator, according to the Times Union, had worked at the home since 2005. The owner of the adult home told reporters that he did not know about the maintenance worker’s criminal history or his status as a registered sex offender.
The alleged assault, along with the discovery of the suspect’s criminal background, has led at least one local government official to call on the state to give greater scrutiny to the backgrounds of job applicants at nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. Daniel McCoy, the Albany County Executive, wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the New York Department of Health regarding the background checks required for caretaker positions. Loudonville, as an assisted living facility, is not subject to the stringent requirements of a nursing home under New York law. The worker’s criminal background might have prevented him from getting a job at a nursing home.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we help people in Maryland obtain compensation for injuries caused by nursing home abuse or neglect. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact us today online or at (800) 654-1949.
More Blog Posts:
Hidden Cameras Have Helped Prevent Nursing Home Abuse, But May Not Be Solution, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, December 28, 2012
Maryland Federal District Court Allows Claim for False Imprisonment to Proceed Against Nursing Home and Hospital, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, September 18, 2012
Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Increase Criminal Penalties for Elder Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, March 16, 2012
Photo credit: Daniel Case user English Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.